The latest trailer for the Questlove-directed Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), the award-winning documentary about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, has been revealed ahead of the film’s July 2nd arrival on Hulu and in theaters.
The latest preview offers more of the long-lost footage from the six-week fest, which included performances by Stevie Wonder, Sly & the Family Stone, Nina Simone, B.B. King, and Gladys Knight and the Pips.
“I was nervous. I didn’t expect a crowd like that,” Knight says of the festival, dubbed “the Black Woodstock,” in the trailer. “Something very important was happening. It wasn’t just about the music.”
Summer of Soul, Questlove’s directorial debut, had its world premiere in February at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was awarded both the U.S. Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the U.S. Documentary category.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Questlove discussed the making of the film, which included immersing himself in 45 hours of unseen footage.
“The number one question I had was, ‘Who wouldn’t want to see this?’ Why wasn’t this written about? Who would throw this away?’” he said of the footage and the fest’s forgotten impact. “This was supposed to come out 50 years ago, and I was supposed to see this movie as a four-year-old. When Woodstock came out, the movie made household names out of every artist who appeared in the film. The legend of that concert wound up subsequently defining a generation…. And so, as a result, when you think of the late Sixties, you think of hippies, mud, free love, Hendrix, all of those things.”
Questlove added, “This could’ve been such an adrenaline boost to black music culture, and it wasn’t allowed.”