Soundtrack For A Revolution

  • 2009
  • Movie
  • Documentary

Soundtrack for a Revolution begins with a mildly intriguing premise, focusing on the role that music played in the fight for racial equality. There have been plenty of great documentaries about the American civil rights movement. The definitive is Henry Hampton's PBS series Eyes on the Prize, while other, smaller-scale films, like Keith Beauchamp's The Untold...read more

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Reviewed by Josh Ralske
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Soundtrack for a Revolution begins with a mildly intriguing premise, focusing on the role that music played in the fight for racial equality. There have been plenty of great documentaries about the American civil rights movement. The definitive is Henry Hampton's PBS series Eyes on the Prize, while other, smaller-scale films, like Keith Beauchamp's The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till and Spike Lee's 4 Little Girls, provide valuable insight into specific incidents of the era. In taking a generalized approach to the time period, and devoting an unseemly chunk of its 81-minute running time to relatively gratuitous contemporary musical performances by popular artists, filmmakers Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman add little to what's already out there. Much of what the film covers has already been seen extensively in other films. The footage looks familiar, and the most prominent interviewees, like Andrew Young and Julian Bond, have already been interviewed about these events many times. There's some compelling eyewitness testimony from people like Lynda Lowery, who was only 14 when she was beaten by state troopers in Selma, AL. But there's too little time devoted to these stories, and too much to the musical performances. The presence of artists like Angie Stone and John Legend could conceivably encourage a younger audience to see the film and learn about this important historical era, but beyond that, the conceit of focusing on the music is not strong enough to distinguish this documentary. Those interested in an overview of the movement would be much better off starting with Eyes on the Prize.

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  • Released: 2009
  • Review: Soundtrack for a Revolution begins with a mildly intriguing premise, focusing on the role that music played in the fight for racial equality. There have been plenty of great documentaries about the American civil rights movement. The definitive is Henry Ha… (more)

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