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12 user 67 critic

Soul Power (2008)

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A filmed account of the Zaire 74 soul music festival, originally intended to be in concert with the famous Rumble in the Jungle bout in Kinshasa, Zaire in 1974.

Director:

Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte (as Jeffrey Levy-Hinte)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Muhammad Ali ... Himself (archive footage)
James Brown ... Himself (archive footage)
Celia Cruz ... Herself (archive footage)
Manu Dibango Manu Dibango ... Himself
B.B. King ... Himself (archive footage)
Don King ... Himself (archive footage)
Lola Love Lola Love ... Herself
Franco Luombo Franco Luombo ... Himself
Miriam Makeba ... Herself (archive footage)
Hugh Masekela ... Himself
Johnny Pacheco ... Himself
George Plimpton ... Himself
Sweet Charles Sherrill Sweet Charles Sherrill ... Himself
Sister Sledge ... Themselves
Debbie Sledge Debbie Sledge ... Herself
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Storyline

In 1974, music producers, Hugh Masekela and Stewart Levine worked with the boxing promoter, Don King, to create a music festival in Africa to run concurrently with his championship boxing match he arranged with Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, aka "The Rumble in the Jungle," in Kinshasa, Zaire. However, due to an unforeseen delay due to Foreman injuring himself in training, it was decided that the music festival must still go on as scheduled. This film covers the preparation of that festival with both stage construction and the arrival of the participating musicians. When all is ready, the people of Zaire got to experience a musical event that Africa had never seen before with great African-American and local artists performing with verve and purpose, with the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, just the biggest star of this musical extravaganza. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

3-day music festival, Kinshasa. Made entirely using footage from 1974. (dvd) See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and brief strong language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

10 June 2009 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Сила духа See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,893, 12 July 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$206,813, 15 November 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Antidote Films (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The festival took part in September 22-24, 1974. See more »

Connections

References When We Were Kings (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Bonjour L'Afrique
Written by Big Black
Performed by Big Black
Published by Jokot
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Way too short concert footage
16 July 2009 | by jjcremin-1See all my reviews

At the time of this writing, media is still mourning, marketing or doing into sordid details of the recently departed Michael Jackson. What most people know or should know is one of Jackson's most favorite performers was James Brown. Brown was clearly the headliner of this historic concert festival that took place in Zaire in 1974.

There were other performers that came over on the airplane to perform. Among them were the vocal group the Spinners, the instrumental group the Crusaders, B.B. King with his group and the Cuban Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz. In fact, it's Cruz's group that's shown leading the impromptu jamming and singing though in fact, they're singing in Spanish.

We also get plenty of Don King, legal counsel Ian Strafford and Muhammed Ali. The fight is postponed due to a finger injury by George Foreman who's not shown at all. This film is best seen with WHEN WE WERE KINGS to provide better context. Ali's black pride and complaints about the white man are recorded but this doc should have been more about the music. But perhaps it's needed as Brown also makes his opinions known.

We get to see King going through his set list but only his hit "The Thrill is Gone" is showcased. Except for Brown, the rest of the performers also get just one song. There were a number of African performers but only Miriam Makeba out of them get one song.

Brown gets three songs and I thought the costume he was wearing a bit odd. He was into fusion jazz funk at this time which was not as commercial as his earlier hits. He also gets the last line to end the movie. "God d**n it, you are somebody" he says as he looks into the camera. Soul Brother Number One.


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