Soul Power (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Soul Power2009

Soul Power (2009)



Critic Consensus: Featuring some incredible performances from many 70s soul legends, Soul Power is an exhilarating snap-shot of a bygone era.

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Movie Info

The three-day music festival Zaire '74 and the emerging musical crossover between Africa and America is documented.

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Critic Reviews for Soul Power

All Critics (75) | Top Critics (33)

Soul Power turns out to be an unusually resonant time capsule, one that weaves together theatrics, musicianship, cosmopolitanism and sharp political critique in a vibrant look-back that's at once celebratory and wistful.

August 14, 2009

It's impossible not to be moved.

August 13, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4

It packs the emotional and historical power of a heady 'family gathering' celebration of African and, to use the term then in fashion, Afro-American pride.

July 30, 2009 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Soul Power is the indispensable companion film to Leon Gast's thrilling 1996 documentary When We Were Kings.

July 30, 2009 | Rating: 4/4

Watching the Godfather of Soul on the big outdoor stage, you think back to his appearance in The T.A.M.I. Show a decade earlier. And then you think: I feel good.

July 24, 2009 | Rating: 4/4

A dazzling chronicle of the African American music expo that was meant to accompany the 1974 Rumble in the Jungle heavyweight title bout between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire (now Congo).

July 24, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Soul Power

Saw this one at 9 in the morning one weekend during TIFF a few years back and it worked better than a morning coffee to get the juices flowing. Make no doubts about it. This is James Brown's film. A nice companion to When We Were Kings.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


SOUL POWER offers a different view surrounding the events of The Rumble In The Jungle In Zaire-1974. A decent companion to When We Were Kings, but nowhere near as engaging as it could have been. With icons that are larger than life today as they were then, the documentary falls short on piecing together the performances. That's not to say the performances are anything less that fantastic, I just felt the ball was dropped in the editing room with even the beginning of the film taking a bit of time to get steam going. The song choices showcased in the film are the "all too familiar" selections from the artists instead of others which may be lesser known but just as, if not more, powerful. Some of the performances which ended up on the deleted scenes portion of the dvd had me asking why they weren't included in the very short time capsule the film attempts to deliver. Still worth watching, but mostly served as a reminder of how great the documenatary "When We Were Kings" actually is. Photobucket

El Hombre Invisible
El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer


Not released until 2009, this is the documentary of 1974 music festival run in conjunction with the Rumble In The Jungle in Zaire. There's a surprisingly small amount of actual performances (though you get a few extra in Special Features on the DVD), but in return you get a whole load of background scenes of the time and the place , a bunch of late great musicians hanging out and partying, James Brown at his feverish gyrating best and a very cute, very young Sister Sledge. Magic.

Lesley N
Lesley N

Super Reviewer

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