First-time director Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson has somehow taken the many hours of Tulchin's films and turned them into what will surely become the documentary star of the summer of 2021, if not the entire year: "Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)." Now in theaters and streaming on Hulu, see it at the biggest theater you can find, so you can not only enjoy the ecstatic sounds of some of the best soul, R&B, jazz, and gospel music of the time, at the decibel level it deserves, but also so you can again experience the live community of theater-goers and music-lovers that we have been sorely missing for the past fifteen months.
Exit the theater and listen to everyone exclaiming about their favorite parts of this extraordinary film. Mine were Mississippi's Chambers Brothers who I saw at Fillmore East sometime around 1970. A very young and vibrant Gladys Knight & the Pips, who I caught some years later at more advanced ages in Reno and Myrtle Beach. Nineteen year-old Stevie Wonder pounding out exuberant drum and organ solos. And Sly and the Family Stone doing what they so joyfully do and in the process truly stealing the show.
So many others: B.B. King, the Staple Singers, Mahalia Jackson, David Ruffin, Abbey Lincoln, the 5th Dimension, Nina Simone, and on and on.
So do yourself a favor. If you want to smile again--after what we've all been through--vaccinate up and go see "Summer of Soul!" You owe it to yourself.