Summer of Soul

Watch Summer of Soul

"A Questlove Jawn."
  • PG-13
  • 2021
  • 1 hr 58 min
  • 8.0  (13,693)
  • 96

The movie Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) is a documentary film directed by Questlove, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2021. The movie is set in the summer of 1969, the same summer as Woodstock, where thousands of people came together in Harlem for a music festival that would ultimately be forgotten by history.

The film takes the audience on a journey back to this moment in time, exploring the music, fashion, and politics of the era. It features never-before-seen footage of the Harlem Cultural Festival, a six-week-long event that brought together some of the most legendary musicians of the time, including Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, Nina Simone, B.B King, and Gladys Knight and the Pips, among others.

Through interviews with attendees and performers, the movie captures the emotional impact that the festival had on its participants, and the political significance of the event, which took place in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The festival provided a space for black performers to showcase their talents during a time when mainstream media rarely gave them exposure.

The film is structured around six different concert performances, interspersed with interviews with attendees, historians, and archivists. The performances are presented in chronological order, and they showcase the range of musical styles that were present at the festival. From gospel to R&B to Latin jazz, the music is an eclectic mix that reflects the diversity of the Harlem community.

The movie not only showcases the music but also delves into the cultural significance of the festival. The interviews with attendees and performers speak to the importance of representation and celebrate the power of community. The festival was conceived as a response to the lack of opportunities for black performers in mainstream media, and it provided a platform for expression and creativity.

Director Questlove, best known as the drummer for the band The Roots, brings his passion for music to the film. His love for the subject matter is evident in the way he frames the performances and uses music as a tool for storytelling. The editing of the film is masterful, weaving together performances with interviews and archival footage to create a compelling narrative.

The score of the movie is also notable, as it includes new renditions of classic songs performed by contemporary artists. These covers provide a fresh take on the music of a bygone era, making the film relevant to modern audiences.

In conclusion, Summer of Soul is a celebration of music, culture, and community. It provides a glimpse into a festival that has been largely forgotten by history but deserves to be remembered as a watershed moment in American culture. The movie is a testament to the resilience and creativity of the black community during a time of social upheaval, and it reminds us of the power of coming together in solidarity.

Summer of Soul is a 2021 music movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 58 minutes. It has received outstanding reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.0 and a MetaScore of 96.

Summer of Soul
Where to Watch Summer of Soul
Summer of Soul is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Hulu, Disney+, Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Summer of Soul for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 58 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    8.0  (13,693)
  • Metascore