The TV programme Soul! (1968-1973) was described in US TV guides as a 'Negro entertainment talk show'. Intended to be the black version of The Tonight Show, it became much more than that: a pioneering programme that showed and encouraged all aspects of Afro-American culture – music, poetry, dance and activism.
With plenty of wonderful archive material, the film tells the story of the programme that started in 1968 on a local station in New York and was then picked up by a national network. It presented a mixture of big names (such as Stevie Wonder and Al Green), unknown talent and avant-garde musicians (such as Rahsaan Roland Kirk, playing three instruments at once) − plus poets and dancers who could not be seen anywhere else on the TV. Mr. Soul! is above all the story of the producer and presenter of the programme, Ellis Haizlip. Interviews with friends, relatives, colleagues and performers provide a picture of a fascinating, inspiring visionary.
Scopitone Café, free admission