After watching the images of brutality and triumph in Bill Guttentag & Dan Sturman’s documentary about the civil-rights movement, the thought of Rand Paul, who thinks that segregation is not such a bad idea, being the Republican nominee for senator from Kentucky just boggles the mind.
Regardless of the context, however, Soundtrack for a Revolution provides an uplifting history lesson for the complacent and ignorant. As the title suggests, it focuses on the music, intercutting archival footage and recollections from such participants as Julian Bond, Lula Joe Williams, and John Lewis with interludes in which the likes of Wyclef Jean perform “We Shall Overcome” and less familiar anthems.
Yet it also analyzes political strategy, explaining Martin Luther King’s logic as he marched from Montgomery to Birmingham and, ultimately, to martyrdom in Memphis. The songs are rousing, but it takes more than a soundtrack to make a revolution.