It all came full circle for Harry Belafonte on Thursday night when “Sing Your Song” screened at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, Belafonte’s birthplace.
The HBO bio docu, helmed by Susan Rostock and produced by Belafonte’s daughter Gina, turned into a sing-along at the end when his signature “Banana Boat Song (Day O)” played. Belafonte thanked the audience for the standing ovation and warm reception, to which many people shouted back, “No, thank you!”
At the Red Rooster after-party, HBO’s Richard Plepler said, “Even people who’ve just been sitting at my table have said, ‘I knew he did this. I knew he did that. But I had no idea.’ And I think a lot of people will take away that emotion from the film: I had no idea.”
Belafonte hopes the film will reach young people. “My No. 1 concern is we get an active populous, that we begin to stir the community as there is an interest,” he said. “There’s an indication of that at the moment with what’s going on on Wall Street. The youth are beginning to become energized and I think that’s precisely what was missing from the Barack Obama puzzle. Getting an active community to push him is what was absent.”