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Review: Soul Power

Leftover footage from When We Were Kings yields a doc that's anything but trash
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 15, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars

 

Concert flicks are quite different from deliberately political documentaries. In the latter, the perception that filmmakers are too intimate with their subjects can reek of propaganda. But in a doc like Soul Power a behind-the-scenes lens on the three-day "Zaire '74" concert that ran in tandem with the Muhammad Ali–George Foreman "Rumble in the Jungle" — access is essential.

Compiled by director Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and others, the footage here was left over from the fight movie When We Were Kings. But this isn't trash; in addition to the expected shots of Ali and Don King in all their megalomania, the intimate portraits of James Brown, Bill Withers, and B.B. King in his triumphant homecoming are as powerful as their performances.

It would have been nice if Levy-Hinte had included more descriptive captions, and more crowd shots would have also been sweet. But maybe I'm just jealous that I wasn't there to witness this first-hand.

  Topics: Reviews , Entertainment, Movies, James Brown,  More more >
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