Summer of Soul (...or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (2021)
July 3, 2021 3:49 PM - Subscribe

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.
posted by 1970s Antihero (11 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
We went to see this last night and it is just so amazing. The fact that this was hidden for half a century is just criminal.
posted by octothorpe at 5:08 AM on July 4, 2021

I watched this last night at home and, yeah, everything octothorpe said. The sound quality is fantastic for something that sat in a box for 50 years.

Just fucking great.
posted by minsies at 5:12 AM on July 4, 2021

I thought this was a STUNNING documentary. Filled with amazing music, great interviews/anecdotes ("Me and my boys, we used to be suit and tie guys..."), and a really lovely bit of cultural contextualization that interspersed music, politics, and society in a strong way. I hope this wins lots of awards and I hope all the footage is released somehow!
posted by entropone at 12:13 PM on July 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Stevie Wonder was only 19 years old here, and his best music was still ahead of him.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 2:26 PM on July 5, 2021

Fantastic documentary! It would be great for the music alone, but the combination of interviews with people who were there, with artists that performed, and the political climate of the time, makes it all the more interesting and impressive. The section about the moon landing and people’s reaction to it was really interesting and sobering. I still can’t stop thinking about the clothes!!! So much fringe, so much purple and orange. So groovy!
posted by pjsky at 7:21 AM on July 6, 2021

SO looking forward to seeing this.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:07 AM on July 9, 2021

This is the best thing I've seen in years. Absolutely beautiful.
posted by Kosmob0t at 8:10 PM on July 9, 2021

The footage wasn’t lost. Interview with Joe Lauro.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:55 PM on July 18, 2021

So they were lost until 2004? That's not really much better.
posted by octothorpe at 5:34 PM on July 18, 2021

This was so amazing. Just incredible footage. And the beauty and emotion of the contemporary interviews. I love that they showed how it impacted average folks who attended, but the impact of seeing the performers watch their own youthful performances was also so moving! The fucking Black joy and creativity and community - this movie rejuvenated me! What mench questlove is for this project.

I want to watch "Behind the Summer of Soul" to get a lot more back story on the footage, the context of the show, etc.
posted by latkes at 7:02 PM on August 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

It seems like this didn't come to Regal at all, which is very annoying.
posted by praemunire at 8:13 PM on August 7, 2021

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