Writer, actor, filmmaker, studio head and media titan, Tyler Perry, is America’s consummate multi hyphenate. But underneath this entertainment behemoth is a man working humbly to heal his childhood trauma by transforming his pain into promise. Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story, a nod to his mother’s love, is a tender and intimate portrait of visionary and innovator Tyler Perry: his harrowing but faithful road to the top of an industry that didn’t always include him. With unfettered access, directors/filmmakers Gelila Bekele and Armani Ortiz lead us into the inner-world of a man, whose story has never fully been told, as he becomes a father and a media mogul with a mission to pave his own road to the top. The product is a profound lesson on remembering where you came from to know where you want to go.
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Katherine S. comments, “Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story is a beautiful movie. This documentary is so inspiring with lessons on the importance of forgiveness, faith and perseverance. And I learned so much about Tyler Perry!” See her full review below.
Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story
By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story is a beautiful movie. This documentary is so inspiring with lessons on the importance of forgiveness, faith and perseverance. And I learned so much about Tyler Perry!
The movie reveals the childhood trauma that Tyler Perry went through and shows how he became the most successful African American filmmaker we all know. It’s also a tribute to his late mother, Maxine, hence the title of the movie.
According to co-directors Gelila Bekele and Armani Ortiz, this movie took ten years to make. I had no idea what Tyler went through as a child because he had a pretty private life, so it was incredible to learn more about him and see how strong he is. We already know about his success, but in this documentary, we get to see all the challenges he faced. It highlights many aspects of his life like his faith, his abusive father, his previous studios, the start of his famous character Madea and the impact he had on the movie industry. Something else that is interesting that I learned about from this film is that Tyler Perry’s newest studio is on an old confederate army base in Atlanta, which really makes this movie come full circle.
The beauty of this rich documentary is that it provides so many different points of views from so many different people and perspectives. We hear from his supporters, his haters, his family, and his friends, such as Oprah Winfrey, Ozzie Areu, Gayle King and Ari Emanuel. In addition to hearing from all of these people, the movie also uncovers never-before-seen videos of Maxine Perry, Tyler’s mom, which is really special since she has passed away and she’s the movie’s namesake.
The film’s message is all about forgiveness. Even after all the abuse, Tyler was able to forgive and move on from his trauma, which really allowed him to grow. Be aware that this movie deals with abuse, has a few graphic images and also some profanity.
I give Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It releases on Prime Video on November 17, 2023.