Soul Power


Soul Power

Critics Consensus

Featuring some incredible performances from many 70s soul legends, Soul Power is an exhilarating snap-shot of a bygone era.



Total Count: 74


Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,133
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Movie Info

The three-day music festival Zaire '74 and the emerging musical crossover between Africa and America is documented.


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Critic Reviews for Soul Power

All Critics (74) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (62) | Rotten (12)

  • Soul Power turns out to be an unusually resonant time capsule, one that weaves together theatrics, musicianship, cosmopolitanism and sharp political critique in a vibrant look-back that's at once celebratory and wistful.

    Aug 14, 2009
  • It's impossible not to be moved.

    Aug 13, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4
  • It packs the emotional and historical power of a heady 'family gathering' celebration of African and, to use the term then in fashion, Afro-American pride.

    Jul 30, 2009 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Soul Power is the indispensable companion film to Leon Gast's thrilling 1996 documentary When We Were Kings.

    Jul 30, 2009 | Rating: 4/4
  • Watching the Godfather of Soul on the big outdoor stage, you think back to his appearance in The T.A.M.I. Show a decade earlier. And then you think: I feel good.

    Jul 24, 2009 | Rating: 4/4
  • A dazzling chronicle of the African American music expo that was meant to accompany the 1974 Rumble in the Jungle heavyweight title bout between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire (now Congo).

    Jul 24, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Soul Power

  • Oct 17, 2012
    Saw this one at 9 in the morning one weekend during TIFF a few years back and it worked better than a morning coffee to get the juices flowing. Make no doubts about it. This is James Brown's film. A nice companion to When We Were Kings.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 27, 2011
    An awesome movie! Maybe not the best documentary, as it doesn't exactly go into too much detail about the Zaire '74 show, or its production. But just seeing and hearing the performances and the energy of all the artists was inspiring! This was a promising time for black artists and you got the sense that they all were very happy/blessed to be a part of such a monumental event! I'm hoping that more of the concert footage can be released on home video!
    James B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 08, 2010
    SOUL POWER offers a different view surrounding the events of The Rumble In The Jungle In Zaire-1974. A decent companion to When We Were Kings, but nowhere near as engaging as it could have been. With icons that are larger than life today as they were then, the documentary falls short on piecing together the performances. That's not to say the performances are anything less that fantastic, I just felt the ball was dropped in the editing room with even the beginning of the film taking a bit of time to get steam going. The song choices showcased in the film are the "all too familiar" selections from the artists instead of others which may be lesser known but just as, if not more, powerful. Some of the performances which ended up on the deleted scenes portion of the dvd had me asking why they weren't included in the very short time capsule the film attempts to deliver. Still worth watching, but mostly served as a reminder of how great the documenatary "When We Were Kings" actually is. <a href="¤t=SoulPower.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
    El Hombre I Super Reviewer
  • Feb 12, 2010
    Concert movies can be hit or miss. The best ones always make you wanna go back to that time and be a part of it. They also have a great soundtrack. This movie is no exception. These sounds make you think Goddamn, why can't pop music be this good these days? I mean these performers had soul and groove and badass songs. Nowadays...please. Tim will eat this one up for the performances. It kinda left me hanging with the overall feel of the performance and the anxiety, but I got so wrapped up in the music and the performances that I didn't care. A joy to watch.
    matt s Super Reviewer

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