SOUL POWER is a verite documentary, by Jeffrey Levy-Hinte chronicling the legendary festival Zaire 74, and made entirely using the original 1974 footage.
The dream child of musician/producer and life long friends Hugh Masekela and Stewart Levine (Grazing In The Grass, Don't Go Lose it Baby), this music festival became a reality when they convinced boxing promoter Don King to combine the event with The Rumble in the Jungle," the epic fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.
SOUL POWER highlights the experiences and performances of such musical luminaries as James Brown, BB King, Bill Withers, Celia Cruz, Miriam Makeba, The Spinners among a host of others. These artists were inspired by this return to their African roots, as well as the enthusiasm of the Zairian audience, to give the performances of their lives. The concert has achieved mythological significance as the definitive Africa(n)-American musical event of the 20th Century.
This footage has remained vaulted for the past 35 years, unused, unseen, until now. Filmed by some of the most celebrated documentary cinematographers Albert Maysles (Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens), Paul Goldsmith (Rust Never Sleeps), Kevin Keating (Harlan County USA), and Roderick Young (Wattstax).
A feast for the senses, the clothes, the gadgets, the culture of Zaire, the colors, the music, it's a challenge to sit still and not boogie in the aisles.