In the 1990s, HBO made some wonderful films about famous and not so famous Black Americans and I own copies of several of these films. THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN and MISS EVERS' BOYS are probably the best, but they also made THE JOSEPHINE BAKER STORY and INTRODUCING DOROTHY DANDRIDGE--quite an impressive record for a relatively small production company.
Of the four films listed, INTRODUCING DOROTHY DANDRIDGE was my least favorite. While still a good film and one to watch, it seemed to suffer in two respects. First, despite being a biography, I never really felt connected to the main character and the film seemed rather episodic. I think the film would have been better had it not try to cram her entire life into one film--perhaps a mini-series or adding an hour to the film would have helped. Second, the film began with such an intense and unnecessarily brutal scene in which Dorothy was digitally raped--something that could have been alluded to or done a bit less explicitly. This made the film rated R and that is a real shame, as kids should see all four of these films--they are all important historical lessons for the 20th century. However, with that scene, there is no way that I would let my kids see the film--it was just too much for kids (let alone adults) to see. You can know it's happening without having to see it happen.
Also, as for this assaultive character, Dorothy's "aunt". If you ARE going to include this in the film, at least then hash out exactly who this woman was as well as her relationship with Dot's mother. It seemed like they were perhaps trying to imply these two older women were lesbians, but they never really followed up on this--it was just a dangling plot point that they seemed to have forgotten. Also, other than this horrible scene, what was this woman's relationship with the kids? This character just left a whole lot of unanswered questions.
To be fair, I must admit that THE JOSEPHINE BAKER STORY features some nudity, but it was all part of Miss Baker's real-life act--you couldn't exactly discuss her life without featuring her most famous routine. It was not sexual in nature, but artistic and I'd have a much easier time letting kids see this film because it lacks the violence of the digital rape scene of INTRODUCING DOROTHY DANDRIDGE.
Other than these complaints, the actors seemed to try very hard to make this film and it was rather interesting. As for Brent Spiner, he looked and talked a lot like his "Data" character--I couldn't get past this and it just shows how being so strongly associated with one role makes it tough for others to accept you in a different one. For my time I say see the other films first--then this one without the kids.