|Directed by: Ahmir Thompson
Produced by: David Dinerstein, Robert Fyvolent and Joseph Pate
Production year: 2020
Original release: —
Running time: 1 hours, 59 minutes
Other cast: B.B. King, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Chris Rock
Misc: IMDB | Amazon | iTunes
Summer of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) is a feature documentary about the Harlem Cultural Festival directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson.
This film marks Thompson’s feature directorial debut and focuses on the 1969 outdoor festival in Harlem’s Mount Morris Park. The festival featured dozens of extraordinary performances by artists including Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, Nina Simone, B.B. King, the Staple Singers, the 5th Dimension, David Ruffin, Mahalia Jackson and Gladys Knight and the Pips.
The Harlem Cultural Festival took place the same summer as the famed Woodstock festival, and boasted an attendance on par with that concert 100 miles away. Over 300,000 people attended, yet it received virtually no coverage from the mainstream media. The 40 hours of never-seen-before footage was originally shot by the late television pioneer Hal Tulchin, but has remained in storage for the past 50 years, keeping this incredible event in America’s history lost – until now.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is among the stars interviewed by Thompson.