Screened as part of NZIFF 2008

Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story 2007

Directed by Morgan Neville, Robert Gordon

An illuminating music-filled history of Stax Records, low-down cousin to Detroit's silkier Motown. "An essential account." — NY Times

USA In English
114 minutes DigiBeta


Robert Gordon
Morgan Neville
Mark Crosby


David Leonard


John Olivio
Alexis Spraic


Otis Redding
Sam & Dave
Booker T. & the MGs
Isaac Hayes
Eddie Floyd


Samuel L. Jackson


Amsterdam Documentary 2007; Sydney 2008


How Otis Redding, baggage handler, came to sing his sublime "These Arms of Mine" late one Memphis afternoon in the early 60s, thereby changing his fortunes and those of a small recording studio, is just one of the many anecdotes comprising this illuminating history of Stax Records, low-down cousin to Detroit's silkier Motown. It's a riveting story, dosed with triumph, loss, betrayal and renaissance, set against a backdrop of desegregation and massive social change. Reminiscences from the label's key figures - its founders, producers, performers and visionaries - are judiciously intercut with rare archival footage, ensuring that the pulsing Memphis Sound remains at the forefront. Volcanic concert performances of songs by Sam & Dave and Redding - allowed to play out their entire, searing duration - raise blisters and may also break your heart. Essential viewing for every soul fan, or for anyone passionate about American popular music. — SR