Summer of Soul is 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 and the Family Stone, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension and more.
2021 Sundance Film Festival
U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary
Audience Award: U.S. Documentary
“This sizzling concert film is a resurrected piece of power-to-the-people art, featuring dizzyingly rich footage from 1969’s Harlem Cultural Festival. [It] reclaims a forgotten piece of Black culture with aching timeliness.” — Tomris Laffly, Harper's Bazaar
“An outstanding archival work, it digs up beautiful footage of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival-a rapturous celebration of music that featured acts such as Sly & the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, and Gladys Knight & the Pips.” — David Sims, The Atlantic
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chris Rock, Stevie Wonder