On July 2, Hulu released Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s award-winning documentary Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) on Hulu. While the film officially dropped in theaters on June 25, it received a wider release and placement on a streaming service just one week later. However, it has been generating buzz for most of 2021, seeing how it won two awards at the Sundance Film Festival back in January.
Summer of Soul is about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival in Marcus Garvey Park (then known as Mount Morris Park), which lasted for six weeks. It included appearances from musical icons such as, among others, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and Sly and the Family Stone. Footage of the event got captured on film (45 hours worth) but then got placed in a basement where it remained unreleased for half a century.
In an interview with IndieWire, Questlove said, “I personally live a life where musical gatherings and musical moments define my life. Being 12 years old in the height of ‘Thriller’ defined my life. Being six years old when ‘Saturday Night Fever’ was at its apex, that defined my life. What would have happened if this was allowed a seat at the table? How much of a difference would that have made in my life? That was the moment that extinguished any doubt I had that I could do this.”