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'Summer Of Soul' - Variety Sundance Studio

Variety
Variety
With “Summer of Soul (…Or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson had a pretty monumental task to tackle. Not only was the first-time director telling the story of an all-but-forgotten festival that featured some of music’s biggest names, but he did so mid-pandemic — finding a way to streamline 45 hours of previously unseen footage into a cohesive and culturally relevant tale, celebrating Black music’s role in the cultural revolution of 1969.

Initially planned as a concert film, Thompson and his team quickly realized through the interview process — and the ongoing pandemic and calls for racial equality in present day — that the timing of the festival held its own significance and was a driving force of the film.

“One of the realizations, the eye-opening moments of this movie is the fact that we refer to ourselves as Black in 1969,” Thompson said at the Variety Studio, presented by AT&T TV, at the Sundance Film Festival.