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

2021, Music/Documentary, 1h 57m

184 Reviews 100+ Verified Ratings

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Deftly interweaving incredible live footage with a series of revealing interviews, Summer of Soul captures the spirit and context of a watershed moment while tying it firmly to the present. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary-part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion. Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just one hundred miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was never seen and largely forgotten--until now. SUMMER OF SOUL shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. The feature includes never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Ray Baretto, Abbey Lincoln & Max Roach and more.

Cast & Crew

Stevie Wonder
Music Performer
Nina Simone
Music Performer
Mahalia Jackson
Music Performer
B.B. King
Music Performer
The 5th Dimension
Music Performer
Jen Isaacson
Executive Producer
Jon Kamen
Executive Producer
Dave Sirulnick
Executive Producer
Jody Allen
Executive Producer

Executive Producer
Rocky Collins
Executive Producer
Jannat Gargi
Executive Producer
Beth Hubbard
Executive Producer
Davis Guggenheim
Executive Producer
Laurene Powell-Jobs
Executive Producer
Jeffrey Lurie
Executive Producer
Marie Therese Guirgis
Executive Producer

Executive Producer

Executive Producer
Sheila Johnson
Executive Producer
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News & Interviews for Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

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

All Critics (184) | Top Critics (55) | Fresh (182) | Rotten (2)

  • Despite being a first feature, Summer of Soul concisely balances performance, interview, and history in its own rhythmic fashion.

    August 3, 2021 | Full Review…
  • Summer of Soul is both a tribute to the artists and, just as importantly, their audience -- which is what makes it not just a great concert film but a great documentary, period.

    August 2, 2021 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
  • The incendiary stars of the Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969 erupt into life in this extraordinary documentary culled from comprehensive footage that's been abandoned and unseen for 50 years.

    July 20, 2021 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Summer of Soul features stunning, irresistible footage of Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, and an entire roll call of 20th-century Black jazz...

    July 19, 2021 | Full Review…
  • [The film] delivers a full-bodied, multilayered exegesis on the explosion in consciousness and creative expression that the festival encapsulates.

    July 30, 2021 | Full Review…
  • A truly sublime, joyous, inspiring festival film that has gone from unseen to instantly iconic. Get ready to rethink history and dance in the aisles at the same time.

    July 22, 2021 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

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

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