After 18 months of cobwebby theaters and movie premieres in our living rooms, we’re finally getting our first summer movie season since 2019 that includes Marvel’s first popcorn blockbuster since “Endgame,” the fastest, most Furious ‘Fast & Furious’ ever and Questlove’s soulfully spectacular gem “Summer of Soul” that’s sure to be the buzziest Doc of the year.
Luckily for you, we have an exclusive peek into the upcoming Doc-of-the-moment you can enjoy below:
In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary—part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture, and fashion.
Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just one hundred miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was never seen and largely forgotten–until now.
“Summer of Soul” shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past, and present. The feature includes never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Ray Baretto, Abbey Lincoln & Max Roach, and more.
“Summer of Soul” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival (where it won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award). It eventually went on to sell for more than $12 million according to Variety. That’s the heftiest price tag for a documentary within the festival’s history. Owen Gleiberman who’s Variety’s chief film critic called “Summer of Soul” “revelatory.”
“It’s a music documentary like no other, because while it’s a joyful, cataclysmic, and soulfully seductive concert movie, what it’s really about is a key turning point in Black life in America,” he wrote.
Summer of Soul will stream on Hulu in conjunction with Disney’s new BIPOC Creator Initiative; Searchlight Pictures will release it theatrically on July 2nd.