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

Questlove, USA 2021, 118’
Searchers The Lost Sons

When, in the summer of 1969, Woodstock was happening on a farm in Bethel, New York, the Harlem Cultural Festival was taking place in Manhattan. Over the course of six weeks, it featured the leading „black” musicians of the time, in tribute to cultural heritage, „Black Pride” and unity in tough times. The musicians included Nina Simone, BB King, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder and Chuck Jackson. There are probably as many stories and anecdotes associated with this event as in the case of Woodstock. For over half a century, the record of this unique festival of music referred to as the Black Woodstock” remained in a TV producer's basement and only recently saw the light of day, due in part to the efforts of the tireless Questlove. As the „Guardian” wrote, There's a moment so striking and rich with power at the center of Ahmir „Questlove” Thompson's ‘Summer of Soul’ (...Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) that, while watching it, I actually forgot to breathe. It's hard not to agree. Summer of Soul won the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Award at the Sundance Festival.

Magdalena Maksimiuk


Sundance FF 2021 - Audience Award, Grand Jury Prize; Boulder IFF 2021 -Best Music Documentary; Minneapolis St. Paul IFF 2021 - Audience Choice Award; Provincetown IFF 2021 - John Schlesinger Award


Born in Philadelphia as Ahmir Khalib Thompson, Questlove is a drummer and front man (along with Black Thought) of The Roots, as well as a producer, music journalist and director. Since 2014, The Roots has performed as the house band for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Questlove is one of the producers of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. He lectured at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU (Tisch School of the Arts).


2021 Summer of Soul (… Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (doc.)

Cast & Crew

director Questlove
screenplay Questlove
cinematography Shawn Peters
editing Joshua L. Pearson
music Jimmy Douglass, Ian Herbert, Randall Poster
cast Gladys Knight, Sal Masekela, Billy Davis Jr., Lin-Manuel Miranda, Al Sharpton, Stevie Wonder, George Kirby, Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone, B.B. King
producer Dan Dinerstein, Robert Fyvolent, Joseph Patel, Questlove
production Concordia Studio, LarryBilly Productions, Mass Distraction Media, Play / Action Pictures, RadicalMedia, Two One Five Entertainment, Vulcan Productions
sales Disney
language English
coloration colour
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