Movie Review: The Summer of Soul


The full title of the new documentary “The Summer of Soul” is “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” – easily one of the strangest titles in movie history.

In 1969 at the same time the very famous Woodstock festival took place, 300 thousand people attended the Harlem Culture Festival and for reasons that most likely included that just about everybody at this festival was black, this major event went mostly unnoticed until some film was found in a basement some 50 years later. There is some important history here but mostly gospel singing and a few popular acts including Stevie Wonder playing the drums and the Fifth Dimension. This movie is not for an ordinary movie goer, because this is a documentary about a musical event and I found it boring and too long. The Summer of Soul has won two major awards at the Sundance Film festival and for me it was interesting to see video that was so well preserved that it looked at times it was created weeks ago, rather than 52 years.

See this documentary if you are big fan of music and cultural history, otherwise this documentary might be too boring for most people.