Soul to Soul

Watch Soul to Soul

  • G
  • 1971
  • 1 hr 36 min
  • 7.9  (81)

Soul to Soul is a 1971 documentary film directed by Denis Sanders that chronicles a historic music festival held in Accra, Ghana in March 1971. The festival, which was organized by the American entrepreneur and philanthropist Edward L. Woods, was one of the largest gatherings of African-American artists ever assembled in Africa, and featured performances by musicians such as Wilson Pickett, Ike & Tina Turner, Santana, and Roberta Flack, as well as African artists such as Osibisa and the Ghanaian National Dance Company. The film captures the vibrant and transcendent energy of the festival, and provides a powerful testament to the enduring cultural ties between African-Americans and Africans.

The film opens with footage of the musicians and performers arriving in Accra, and immerses the viewer in the sights and sounds of the bustling and chaotic city streets. It then cuts to the festival itself, which takes place in the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, a large open-air venue that was built to honor the first president of Ghana. The camera pans over the crowds of thousands of people who have gathered to witness the spectacle, and captures the exuberant energy of the performers as they take the stage.

The first performance featured in the film is by the jazz saxophonist Eddie Harris, who delivers a blistering rendition of his hit song "Freedom Jazz Dance." Harris plays with wild abandon, his fingers flying over the keys of his saxophone, and the crowd responds with wild cheers of appreciation. The film then cuts to a backstage interview with Harris, who reflects on his experience of performing in Africa and the connections between African-American and African music.

Other memorable performances in the film include Roberta Flack's soulful rendition of "Tryin' Times," which she dedicates to the people of Ghana, and an electrifying set by the Latin rock band Santana, whose drummer Michael Shrieve delivers a thunderous solo that seems to shake the very foundations of the park. The film also features a moving tribute to the recently deceased soul singer Otis Redding, who had planned to be part of the festival before his tragic death in a plane crash the previous year. Wilson Pickett delivers a stirring rendition of Redding's hit song "Dock of the Bay," and the crowd sings along with him in a heartfelt tribute to the fallen musician.

One of the most striking aspects of the film is the footage of the African artists who perform alongside their American counterparts. Osibisa, a Ghanaian band that had recently gained international fame for their fusion of African rhythms with rock and jazz, delivers a high-energy set that incorporates traditional African instruments such as the kora and the balaphone, and features intricate vocal harmonies and thrilling call-and-response sections. The Ghanaian National Dance Company also makes a powerful impression, with their dynamic and acrobatic performances that blend traditional dances with modern movements.

Throughout the film, there are numerous interviews with the performers and festival organizers, who reflect on the significance of the event and the connections between African-American and African cultures. The film underscores the importance of music as a universal language that can bridge cultural divides and unite people in joy and celebration. It also highlights the influence of African music on American popular music, and pays tribute to the resilience and creativity of the African people in the face of oppression and injustice.

Overall, Soul to Soul is a powerful and inspiring document of a pivotal moment in music history. It captures a vibrant and dynamic period in the evolution of African-American and African music, and provides a window into the rich cultural legacy of Ghana and other African nations. Through its stunning musical performances, evocative cinematography, and insightful interviews, the film celebrates the enduring power of music to transcend boundaries and bring people together in joy and harmony.

Soul to Soul is a 1971 music movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 36 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.9.

Soul to Soul
Where to Watch Soul to Soul
Soul to Soul is available to watch, stream, download and on demand at Amazon Prime. Some platforms allow you to rent Soul to Soul for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 36 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.9  (81)