When he’s not part of a Grammy-winning band, providing tunes for late night TV, being involved with Broadway sensations, or DJ’ing the Oscars, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is also making movies. His directorial debut Summer of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) premiered at Sundance earlier this year, where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award.
Bringing to life a once-forgotten part of Black history, The Harlem Cultural Festival, the riveting documentary unearths footage from the 1969 summer concert that was sitting in a basement for decades, finally now seeing the light of day. Featuring Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Ray Baretto, Abbey Lincoln & Max Roach, and more, the first teaser has now arrived ahead of a July 2 release in theaters and on Hulu.
Jake Kring-Schreifels said in his Sundance review, “In many ways, it’s a miracle. Interspersed with crucial historical context, Summer of Soul provides a showcase of all-star talent, archived video in pristine condition featuring performances from Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Nina Simone, Sly and the Family Stone, and numerous other legendary acts of the time. Thompson speaks with the festival’s performers, leaders, and attendees, who marvel and turn emotional at the footage. This was more than just music. For the sea of smiling Black faces extending blocks in every direction, this was a cathartic release of grief and pain and oppression. “
Watch the teaser below.
Summer of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) opens in theaters and on Hulu on July 2.