Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)


Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

Overview:

During the same summer as Woodstock, over 300,000 people attended the Harlem Cultural Festival, celebrating African American music and culture, and promoting Black pride and unity. The footage from the festival sat in a basement, unseen for over 50 years, keeping this incredible event in America’s history lost – until now.

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Runtime: 117 minutes

Release Date 2021-07-02

Tagline: A Questlove Jawn

Production company:

  • Concordia Studio
  • Mass Distraction Media
  • RadicalMedia
  • Vulcan Productions

Production country:

  • United States of America

Genres:

  • Documentary
  • Music

Trailer

Further Information

Self
Tony Lawrence
Tony Lawrence
Self
Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder
Self
Jesse Jackson
Jesse Jackson
Self
Nina Simone
Nina Simone
Self
B.B. King
B.B. King
Self
Abbey Lincoln
Abbey Lincoln
Self
Mavis Staples
Mavis Staples
Self
Moms Mabley
Moms Mabley
Self
Mahalia Jackson
Mahalia Jackson
Self
David Ruffin
David Ruffin
Self
Sly Stone
Sly Stone
Self
Hugh Masekela
Hugh Masekela
Self
John V. Lindsay
John V. Lindsay
Self
Babatunde Olatunji
Babatunde Olatunji
Self
Max Roach
Max Roach
Self
Ray Barretto
Ray Barretto
Self
Herbie Mann
Herbie Mann
Self
Mongo Santamaria
Mongo Santamaria
Director
Ahmir-Khalib Thompson
Ahmir-Khalib Thompson
Executive Producer
Davis Guggenheim
Davis Guggenheim
Producer
Robert Fyvolent
Robert Fyvolent
Executive Producer
Jon Kamen
Jon Kamen
Executive Producer
Jonathan Silberberg
Jonathan Silberberg
Executive Producer
Beth Hubbard
Beth Hubbard
Executive Producer
Nicole Stott
Nicole Stott
Executive Producer
Rocky Collins
Rocky Collins
Executive Producer
Dave Sirulnick
Dave Sirulnick
Producer
Joseph Patel
Joseph Patel
Executive Producer
Ruth Johnston
Ruth Johnston
Executive Producer
Jody Allen
Jody Allen
Editor
Joshua L. Pearson
Joshua L. Pearson
Director of Photography
Shawn Peters
Shawn Peters
Producer
David Dinerstein
David Dinerstein
Executive Producer
Jannat Gargi
Jannat Gargi
Executive Producer
Jen Isaacson
Jen Isaacson
Executive Producer
Laurene Powell-Jobs
Laurene Powell-Jobs
Co-Producer
Cora Atkinson
Cora Atkinson
Co-Producer
Inuka Bacote
Inuka Bacote
Associate Producer
Ashley Bembry-Kaintuck
Ashley Bembry-Kaintuck
Associate Producer
Andrea Dramer
Andrea Dramer
Co-Producer
Gregory A. Thomson
Gregory A. Thomson

Louisa Moore - Screen Zealots

The times, they were a’changin’ in the summer of 1969, with many turning to music as a vehicle to help them express their feelings on important social and political issues. The most famous music festival of all time, Woodstock, has seen its concert footage shown the world over. That same year in New York, over 300,000 people attended the predominantly African-American concert series known as the Harlem Cultural Festival. The filmed performances of some of the most important artists in black music history sat in a basement for five decades, only to finally be seen in “Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” a documentary by first-time director Ahmir-Khalib “Questlove” Thompson. This concert film is a cultural and historical treasure trove of American music that shines a light on black art and culture in the late Sixties. For those who are seeking a well-rounded music education, this film is a must-see. The documentary makes extensive use of the never-before-seen footage, often letting the musical performances speak for themselves. Thompson weaves file footage and interviews with festival artists and attendees that share their stories on African-American popular culture. You can tell just how important the Harlem Culture Festival was to everyone involved, and some of the best clips in the film are shots of the faces in the crowds, all of them radiating pure joy. Clocking in at two hours, the film could stand a little editing. Since he is a musician himself, I understand Thompson’s tendency to include as much of every single performance as possible, but the film suffers because of it and drags on a bit too long. But just as my interest would wane, I’d get drawn back in almost as quickly with an enthralling anecdote from the likes of Jesse Jackson or Marilyn McCoo, or a moving performance from talents like Mavis Staples and Mahalia Jackson. “Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” is a stunning historical record that captures a moment in time when the stories of black America weren’t always told, and it lifts up their voices in the process.