Summer of Soul
Come and join us for our Five Star Christmas movie! Buy a glass of wine and luxuriate in some good old 60s soul music! This film was released in 2019 because nobody would finance it in 1969. Why? it can only have been because it’s the film of a concert held in Harlem, with black musicians; money was found to make and distribute the film of the famous Woodstock festival from the same year but in upstate New York. It scores 99% with the critics, on Rotten Tomatoes, and 98% with its audiences. So make sure you don’t miss this feast of music, including Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Mahalia Jackson, Mavis Staples, Hugh Masakela, Gladys Knight, Sly and the Family Stone and many more. It also explores the impact of the six-week event on culture, through live footage and retrospective conversations with festival-goers and artists. A labour of love for director Questlove, best known as the ringleader of Jimmy Fallon’s house band The Roots, the film is an important slice of cultural history, an expression of Black joy, and probably the best concert you’ll never go to.
Far more than just great music, Summer Of Soul captures a specific transition point, a time when Black Americans started embracing Afrocentric fashion (dashikis and Afros) and the term Negro was symbolically dropped in favour of the term Black. As leaders of the Civil Rights movement were being murdered in their droves, the expressive, brightly dressed performers of the Harlem Cultural Festival emerged as superheroes from the rubble. Questlove gives space to Charlayne Hunter-Gault, one of the first two Black students at the University of Georgia in 1961, who spent her days being hounded by the white girls in the dorm above her pounding on the floor; she only got through it by listening to Nina Simone. To be young, gifted and Black was to live with a target on your back, but, as Summer Of Soul proves, it also meant having music as your greatest weapon.
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(55 seats remaining)
Venue: William Loveless Hall