Soul Power

Soul Power

DVD Rating: ****

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Read Angus Wolfe Murray's film review of Soul Power

These extras leave you wanting more. That’s a good way to feel. One of the problems, if this is not too harsh a word, with the film is not seeing enough of the performers. For example, if it wasn’t for the bonus features on the DVD, would you know that Sister Sledge and The Pointer Sisters were at the concert?

The Extra Scenes cover concert logistics (panic, as in “It’s Mickey Mouse. It’s crazy beyond belief”), Muhammad Ali mouthing off (comic genius), jams and rehearsals, boxing organisers (after George Foreman cut his eye and the Ali fight was postponed, double panic sets in) and Zairans (local women dancing and singing with babies strapped on, cooking outside and walking barefoot to the market with basins on their heads, while the men play cards and draughts - bottle tops as pieces – and drink beer) .

Copy picture

The Extra Performances are exquisite. James Brown sings Try Me. Sister Sledge, in silver trouser suits, sing On And On. The Pointer Sisters, in multi-coloured silk shorts and tops, with flamboyant garden party hats, sing Yes We Can (Can), followed by an African band and dance troupe, involving a stilt dancer and a man with arrows stuck through his cheeks.

The interview with director Jeffrey Levy-Hinte is short and succinct. His inspiration for making the film was James Brown’s death. “I wanted to honour him and give his fans a chance to see him in his prime.” Getting access to the material was easy. The producer and director of When We Were Kings had it stored away in cans. It took him three years to edit it to a manageable size. The other question he is asked is, “When can we see the whole concert?” That’s 12 hours of music, apparently. Levy-Hinte is keen to do it. What he is waiting for is a bucket load of money and a distributor. The success of Soul Power, the movie, might help.

Reviewed on: 18 Nov 2009
Share this with others on...
Soul Power packshot
A celebration of African-American music that accompanied the Ali/Foreman fight in Zaire, 1974
Amazon link

Product Code: EKA40306

Region: 2

Sound: Dolby Digital

Extras: Extra performances; deleted scenes; nterview with director Jeffrey Levy-Hinte; trailer

Search database: