Mister Soul – A Story About Donny Hathaway descends into the soul of legendary American singer Donny Hathaway, who is seen by many musicians as an inspiration and a genius. At the time of his greatest successes he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, which didn't stop him from continuing to make harmonious music. How did he balance between his madness and genius?
Can there be such a thing as too much talent? Music magazine Rolling Stone called Hathaway a "soul legend" and Justin Timberlake thinks he is "the best singer of all time". Yet few people will remember Donny Hathaway as Roberta Flack's duet partner, Stevie Wonder's predecessor or the composer who managed to mix jazz and gospel into lavish soul music. His suicide in 1979 at the age of 33 by a fall from his hotel room has condemned him to the status of a 'musician's musician'. The documentary follows the same path of existence as Hathaway himself: a poetic journey embarking on cities like St. Louis, Chicago and New York that plunges deeper and deeper into Hathaway’s life, up until his tragic end. Besides his brother and sisters, singer Roberta Flack, preacher Jesse Jackson and producer James Mtume, among others, talk about the genius and madness of the singer.
Free admission on Tue 28 Jan, also see Scopitone Café.