Soul Power – Movie Review
Documentary on the three-day music festival Zaire ’74 and the emerging musical crossover between Africa and America.
“Soul Power” is brought to you by the same team that did “When We Were Kings”, which is the story of “The Rumble in the Jungle” that actually won an Oscar in 1995. The documentary, the chronicle, the fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, was very dynamic. This is some of the out takes from that particular documentary, because at the same time, the boxing match was occur to in Zaire, along with a music festival, not quite as successfully, that included James Brown, Bill Withers, BB King, The Spinners, Don King, Celia Cruise, and the Fania All-stars, and this is an attempt to create the same type of document that “When We Were Kings” became. It just doesn’t work as well. The most interesting characters in the documentary are either James Brown, who’s electric, or Muhammad Ali, who really has nothing to do with the music scene. The idea is that Don King decided that there should be an attempt for African American musicians to go back to Africa and bring their music to where he felt the roots were. The problem was that the funding didn’t exist, so turns out the music is not as powerful as watching two guys pound on each other, and unfortunately, the documentary isn’t as electric either. Seeing a very young, beautiful, Muhammad Ali and a very, young, energetic, James Brown is electric. The sad thing is the credits, when you see how many great people have gone to rock and roll in the sky. This is a movie to see if you are a fan of James Brown, and who among us is not, there are probably better ways to see him, or maybe you could just get it on CD and fast forward, one star.