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Published on Apr 28, 2009
Zaire '74 The world braced itself for THE RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE But when delays stopped the boxers from starting up, the fans insisted on getting down... SOUL POWER From the Oscar winning team that created WHEN WE WERE KINGS
In 1974, the most celebrated American R&B acts of the time came together with the most renowned musical groups in Southern Africa for a 12-hour, three-night long concert held in Kinshasa, Zaire. The pipe dream of musician Hugh Masekela and producer Stewart Levine, 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, previously chronicled in the Academy Award winning documentary When We Were Kings.
Soul Power is a verité documentary, entirely composed of footage shot in 1974 at the legendary music festival (dubbed "Zaire '74"). It shows the experiences and performances of such musical luminaries as James Brown, BB King, Bill Withers, Celia Cruz, Miriam Makeba, among a host of others. At the peak of their talents and the height of their careers, 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.
Soul Power has been crafted from the extensive footage which remained after the making of When We Were Kings, which famously documented the epic title fight, but only briefly touched upon the Zaire '74 music festival. This footage has remained vaulted for the past 35 years, unused, unseen, until now. Lensed primarily by celebrated cinematographers Albert Maysles (GIMME SHELTER, GREY GARDENS), Paul Goldsmith (RUST NEVER SLEEPS), Kevin Keating (HARLAN COUNTY USA), and Roderick Young (WATTSTAX), Soul Power finally provides today's audience the opportunity to experience this historic musical event in all of its magnificent, filmed glory, restored in HD and with incredible sound quality. An unbridled musical journey for the ages.
SOUL POWER is to be released in a Dual Format (DVD and Blu-ray) edition as part of Eureka Entertainment's Masters of Cinema series on 10 September 2012.