Back towards the end of 2019, it was revealed that Questlove was working on what is now titled Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised), a documentary about The Harlem Cultural Festival, a six-week festival that took place right around the same time as Woodstock. Now, the first teaser for the film, which is set to premiere in theaters and on Hulu on July 2, has been shared.
An official statement describes the film:
“In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary — part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture, and fashion. Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just one hundred miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was never seen and largely forgotten — until now. Summer Of Soul shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. The feature includes never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Ray Baretto, Abbey Lincoln & Max Roach, and more.”
Back when the project was announced, Questlove said in a statement, “I am truly excited to help bring the passion, the story and the music of the Harlem Cultural Festival to audiences around the world. The performances are extraordinary. I was stunned when I saw the lost footage for the first time. It’s incredible to look at 50 years of history that’s never been told, and I’m eager and humbled to tell that story.”
He also told Variety in an interview earlier this year, “”Woodstock happens in two weeks after this and it defines a lifestyle, it defines a generation. Woodstock, the city name alone, just defines a whole movement. And I kept wondering what would have went down if this were allowed to happen for [Black people]. If this were allowed to unfurl and and spread across the world as Woodstock did, how much of a difference could that have made in my life as a music lover and as a music collector? So, then I just felt this the sense of purpose that I have to tell the story.”
Watch the Summer Of Soul teaser above.