While Woodstock earned all the headlines in 1969, the new documentary Summer of Soul shows that it wasn’t the only historic musical festival that took place that year. A new trailer teases the July 2 release of Summer of Soul documentary, which shows never-before-seen footage of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival.
Fully titled Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), the documentary comes from Questlove of The Roots. Summer of Soul features footage of the Harlem Cultural Festival, which took place over the course of six weeks, including overlapping with Woodstock. Performers for the festival included Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension and more.
The entire festival was recorded in 1969, but the footage has never been shown until Summer of Soul.
In addition to serving as a concert film, Summer of Soul provides archival footage and interviews with contemporary figures to discuss the events that led up to the festival, what the experience was like and the impact of it today.
Get a sneak peek at Summer of Soul in the trailer below.
Summer of Soul premiered as part of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, where it earned the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary.
Acquired by Disney-owned Searchlight and Hulu, Summer of Soul will be released in both theaters and Hulu in the U.S. on July 2 and on the Star and Star+ streaming services internationally.
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Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.