Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

critic Reviews

, 99% Certified Fresh Tomatometer Score
  • Deftly interweaving incredible live footage with a series of revealing interviews, Summer of Soul captures the spirit and context of a watershed moment while tying it firmly to the present.
  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Kambole CampbellHyperallergic
    Despite being a first feature, Summer of Soul concisely balances performance, interview, and history in its own rhythmic fashion.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    David FearRolling Stone
    Summer of Soul is both a tribute to the artists and, just as importantly, their audience -- which is what makes it not just a great concert film but a great documentary, period.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Kevin MaherTimes (UK)
    The incendiary stars of the Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969 erupt into life in this extraordinary documentary culled from comprehensive footage that's been abandoned and unseen for 50 years.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Adam NaymanThe Ringer
    Summer of Soul features stunning, irresistible footage of Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, and an entire roll call of 20th-century Black jazz...
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Mark KermodeObserver (UK)
    Thompson's feature debut intertwines music and politics in one of the best concert movies of all time.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Charlotte O'SullivanLondon Evening Standard
    The documentary of the decade.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    James CrootStuff.co.nz
    The only thing more compelling than the performances, are interviews with those who were there, ones carried out both then and now.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Sarah WardConcrete Playground
    An act of unearthing, reclamation and celebration... It's a gift, too.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Craig D. LindseyNashville Scene
    Culling from 40 hours of footage, Thompson rounded up exuberant performances from such legends as Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone (who memorably played Woodstock), Gladys Knight and the Pips, The 5th Dimension and B.B. King.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Thomas CaldwellABC Radio Melbourne
    A vital record of a long-overlooked moment in American Black history where music and politics intertwined to create something hopeful, profound, defiant and unifying.
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