On the heels of its Oscar nomination for best documentary, “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” will return to New York City’s Marcus Garvey Park this June.
Capital One City Parks Foundation SummerStage, a series of free performances and screenings around the city, announced Wednesday that a free screening of “Summer of Soul” will open their season of shows in neighborhood parks. The event will take place on June 17, two days before the national holiday Juneteenth. The venue is notable since Marcus Garvey Park was the site of the Harlem Cultural Festival, which the documentary chronicles.
Admission is free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis. This marks the second time the documentary has screened at the New York City location, following a special Juneteenth event last year.
Directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, “Summer of Soul” looks back at the events of the Harlem Cultural Festival, a 1969 concert series that took place at the venue, then known as Mount Morris Park. The festival featured some of the most acclaimed musical artists of all time, including Stevie Wonder, Sly and the Family Stone, Nina Simone and Gladys Knight. The documentary features both interviews with the musical artists years later and archival footage of their performances at the festival.
Since its 2021 Sundance Film Festival debut, “Summer of Soul” has garnered universal acclaim; in his review, Variety chief film critic Owen Gleiberman wrote that “It’s a music documentary like no other, because while it’s a joyful, cataclysmic and soulfully seductive concert movie, what it’s really about is a key turning point in Black life in America.”
The Searchlight Pictures, Onyx Collective and Hulu documentary has won 55 awards from various guilds and critics groups, including the BAFTA Award for best documentary and the Grand Jury and Audience awards at Sundance. “Summer of Soul” also picked up trophies at the Critics Choice Awards, the National Board of Review and the Independent Spirit Awards. In addition to its nomination at the upcoming 94th Academy Awards for best documentary, “Summer of Soul” is also nominated at the Grammy Awards for best music film.