Questlove’s Summer of Soul wins Best Documentary
Nominated along with Ascension, Flee, In the Same Breath, and Procession, Summer of Soul wins Best Documentary at the 37th annual 2022 Film Independent Spirit Awards held on Sunday, March 6. Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, famously known as the drummer from the legendary music crew The Roots, dove into the film scene in 2021 with the release of his directorial debut Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised).
Summer of Soul wins Best Documentary at the 2022 Film Independent Spirit Awards along with the Grand Jury Prize at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival where it had premiered last year. At the 6th Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, the film took home a total of six awards, including Best Documentary Feature.
It’s also been nominated for the 64th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Music Film and the 94th Academy Awards for Best Documentary Feature. The film-doc features Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Sly & the Family Stone, the Staple Singers, and other legendary musicians as they perform during the six-week-long 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival at Mount Morris Park.
In 2021, Questlove spoke with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show about his inspiration for the documentary. “We saw the film as a chance to contextualize for people like Gen Z and millennials, who aren’t familiar with those acts, but why they all got together and used their voice for activism,” said Questlove. “We really went deep into the narrative of just why it’s important and so that’s why I feel like it covers everything. Even if you’re just there for the music or you see the message of why this concert had to be thrown, it covers all the generations.”
The film-doc examines the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival with its numerous hall of fame acts; it was historically considered as an obscure event in pop culture and one that was never televised. It’s no surprise that Summer of Soul wins best documentary at the 2022 Film Independent Spirit Awards as it gained critical acclaim and praise for focusing on footage restoration for an event that was almost forgotten. Check out the trailer below.