Questlove shared how he saw the scene of “Soul Summer” for the first time-but he didn’t know what he was watching
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s directorial debut “Summer of Souls (…or, when the revolution cannot be televised)” is now open to the public to watch, and this more than two-hour documentary is not inferior to great.
Through archived footage and interviews with performers and participants, the film tells the story of the 1969 Harlem Festival and the musical, historical and social impact of the event.
From late June to August 1969, about 300,000 people participated in this event. However, due to the lack of exposure in subsequent decades, its historical position has been blurred.
One of the producers of the event, Hal Tulchin, shot more than 40 hours of summer series shots. Due to lack of interest in the music festival, most of the content never appeared, and sat in a box in the basement of Tulchin for 50 years-until The Roots drummer was appointed as the director of the documentary.
When he sat down to watch the video, Questlove described it as “lightning in a bottle.” But on Wednesday’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” show, the musician shared that his first participation in the Harlem Cultural Festival was when he was touring Japan with The Roots in 1997-even though he didn’t know it. What kind of activity.
“My translator looked at my black man, like, she put two and two together, like,’You remind me of Don Cornelius in the soul train,'” Questeloff Tell Meyers. “She took me to a place called Soul Train Cafe, which was basically a bit like Friday, with better fonts. There were monitors everywhere in the restaurant, and I happened to see two or three minutes of Sly and the Family. “From a distance One of the stones photographed by a camera. So at the time, I didn’t realize that I was watching the Harlem Cultural Festival. I thought it was the Montreux Jazz Festival in Europe or something similar. “
Questlove admitted in an interview with Variety earlier this year that when the producer recommended the film to him, he was not familiar with the incident. The Philadelphia native told Meyers that several music experts he had consulted knew nothing about the incident, so it only increased his doubts about whether the festival actually happened.
Before the release of the music documentary Released to the public this summer, “Summer of Souls” Officially unveiled earlier this year At the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, Won the Grand Prize of the Jury and the Audience Award In the non-fiction category.
“This is my fulcrum in things like pandemics, you know, it keeps me awake as we wait for what to happen,” Questeloff told Meyers. “I didn’t realize that my passion project would resonate with the world like this, so I was very excited.”
The Harlem Cultural Festival has more than 30 performances from musical legends such as Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly and the Family Stone, BB King, Gladys Knight and The Pips. It took place during the same “Summer of Love” as the more well-known three-day event in northern New York.
Initially, Questlove wanted to name the movie “Black Woodstock”, which was an endorsement of the overlapping facts before and after the world-famous Woodstock Festival in New York in 1969.
But the title was eventually changed because the musician felt it was hurt to compare the two, even though the documentary pointed out the forgotten relevance of the Harlem incident.
“Summer of Souls” is Now available on Hulu And in some movie theaters.