A civil rights movement era musical festival has been uncovered with Gladys Knight, Nina Simone, Sly Stone, B.B. King, Mahalia Jackson, and more.
Questlove makes his directorial debut in releasing a piece of musical history that many have never seen in the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. In the two minute trailer, we see the essence of the summer of 1969 with some of the biggest names of the day and of all-time.
The film is derived from 45 hours of footage that was literally left lying in a damp basement. It was a big hit at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival as viewers watched the documentation of the six-week-long event series, Summer of Soul (…Or When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised,).
“I thought this was going to be a quiet little arthouse film,” Questlove said in a recent interview with Rolling Stone. “I’m on a group chat with Just Blaze and DJ Premier and Swiss Beatz and J. Cole. 25 of my luminaries. So it was like, ‘If Jazzy Jeff and Peanut Butter Wolf think [the movie] is cool, then I’ll feel OK.’ That’s who I thought my shit was for. God had other plans,” said Questlove.
Watch the official trailer for Questlove’s Summer of Soul documentary below. Catch it in theaters and streaming via Hulu on July 2nd.