Summer of Soul (… Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Direction: Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson; Production: David Dinerstein, Robert Fyvolent, Joseph Patel; Photography: Shawn Peters; Assembly: Joshua L. Pearson; Production Houses: Radical Media, Vulcan Productions; Distribution: Searchlight Pictures, Hulu; Cast: Stevie Wonder, Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone, The 5th Dimension, The Staple Singers, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Mavis Staples, Blinky Williams, Sly and the Family Stone And The Chambers Brothers.
The film won the award Oscar such as best documentary and was also winner of the grand jury prize he was born in audience award to the Sundance film festival.
In the 1969 to Bethel was taking place on Woodstock festival which will over time become one of the largest festivals in American history, but only a hundred miles awayto Harlema festival was taking place that would mark a big one change in African American culture. The 60s for the black community were a continuous one succession of tragedies: from murder to JFK of the 1963 up to that of Martin Luther King in the ’68. The death of those leaders, the same ones who should have brought the hope of a better future in the African American community, made the clearer and clearer lack of support by the system racist And corruptand all this foreshadowed an imminent one violent revolution. The community is divided: on the one hand there are those who are ready to take up arms and on the other there are those who believe in a non-violent approach. All of this has to be stopped, and it seems that alone music can perform this miracle.
Review by Summer of Soul
After 50 yearsdirector Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson brings to light the images of a festival unknown todaybut which at the time scored a big step for the black community of Harlem. Through the testimonials of the artists and people who attended the event, the spectator back on that stage to relive the emotions And the atmosphere of that magnificent historical period made of struggles, rebellion And experimentationwhile the music carries it with its captivating rhythm passing through the genres that have characterized the Black music. We go from Gospel from Oh Happy Day sung by Edwin Hawkins singersto the Blues from Why I sing the Blues of the great BB King, and then move on to Motown with My Girl of the former Temptations David Ruffin. There is no shortage of moments experimentation with artists such as: Ray Barrettowith its Latin American sounds, Mango Santamaria and his Cuban percussion, and how not to mention the extravagant performance of the band Sly and the Family Stone leading to the stage innovation And transgression with a touch of madness. Questlove’s work, however, does not stop therebecause in The Summer of love is also explored the context where the festival took place; the spectator travels through the streets Harlem of ’69 and with his own eyes he watches to the great revolution that black, Latino and Cuban women and men perform not only through music, but also through fashion and the policy. It is the year that the black people decided to raise your head And send a message to the white man saying: I exist and I make you feel it with music. The same music that the singer Soul, Nina Simonea symbol of civil rights, sings to the audience with the incredible performance of To be Young, gifted and black which reads:
There’s a world waiting for you. Yours is the quest that’s just begun.
“There is a world waiting for you, your search has just begun.“ the words of this song of hope And Union they arrive straight to the heart of those who listen to it, and for the first time one feels truly close to a community that despite all abuses and the injustices you are not never broken and has always shown strong courage to get back on their feet and keep going fight. This is not a simple documentary, but a manifest which shows, in all its essence, the true power of Black power. In the end, to give the last farewell the viewer thinks about it Sly with the song I want to take you higher the last great cry of rebellion launched by the public in honor of a festival which, although forgotten, it has always remained in the heart of those who lived it.