Summer of Soul

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

Documentary about the legendary 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival which celebrated African-American music and culture and promoted Black pride and unity.

SA Premiere





United States



Running Time:

118 min



Summer of Soul documents the Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969, an event that was almost erased from public consciousness. Along with contemporary interviews with those who attended and performed at the festival, and a careful evocation of the volatile cultural and political climate at the time, the film includes a collection of transcendent performances from some of the 20th century’s most important performers, including Sly and the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, Mahalia Jackson, the Staple Singers and Nine Simone. The most thing about this remarkable film is that the event it documents would almost certainly have disappeared from history were it not for the intervention of director Ahmir Thompson (more widely known as the DJ and musician QuestLove). Summer of Soul is not only a document of a vitally important cultural event but also a reminder of the way in which film is at the very core of modern history and collective memory.