BERLIN - Actor Don Cheadle said that in his biopic of Miles Davis he chose to focus on the latter years of the great jazz trumpeter’s career because it was a way into the broader legacy of the man considered one of the alltime best jazz musicians. Cheadle’s “Miles Ahead”, in which he plays Davis and which he also directed, was shown on the sidelines of the Berlin International Film Festival. It focuses mainly on a period when Davis had not made a record for several years and was in dispute with his record company, Columbia, over having failed to live up to the terms of his contract.

“I felt like it would give me the opportunity to look at all of the decades, it would give me the opportunity to be expansive as opposed to reductive,” Cheadle told Reuters. “You just start giving short shrift to all of the eras as opposed to putting the music front and centre and letting that music from any era and any decade push us through. So I think by focusing on the specific it gave me the ability to be very expressive and talk about any part of the film and any part in his library and his discography that I wanted to.” Appearing in Berlin the same week that director Spike Lee was here to promote his film “Chi-Raq”, Cheadle said he generally agreed with Lee’s public criticism of the lack of diversity in Oscar d nominations.