Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), the directorial film debut of Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, has received its first trailer.
The documentary won the grand jury prize and the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival, for more than $12 million – a record for a documentary sale at Sundance. The film showcases the Harlem Cultural Festival, also known as Black Woodstock, which was a series of concerts that took place during the summer of 1969. The concert series included such acts as Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Nina Simone, B.B. King, Sly and the Family Stone, Mahalia Jackson, and more. According to the opening title of the film, the footage shown “sat in a basement for 50 years. It has never been seen.”
This first trailer debuted at the 93rd Academy Awards, of which Questlove is the music director. This is Questlove’s first time directing, although he is no stranger to being interviewed for music documentaries, having appeared in Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest, Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown, and Finding the Funk, for which he was also a co-executive producer.
But Questlove isn’t just a music historian in his own right, he’s also become a major part of music history. While Questlove is probably most well-known as the drummer for The Roots and the musical director for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Questlove has worked with artists as varied as Elvis Costello, Jay-Z, Al Green, Fiona Apple, and D’Angelo. Earlier this month, Questlove even announced his next book, entitled “Music Is History.” Simply put, Questlove seems like the perfect guide for this incredible concert series.
Summer of Soul (Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) comes to theaters and Hulu on July 2. Check out the first trailer below: