Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

Soul Power 2008

Directed by Jeffrey Levy-Hinte

James Brown, Miriam Makeba, Celia Cruz, B.B. King and more burn down the house, Zaire 1974. “Joyously funky… another legendary concert sees the light of day through the miracle of technology.” — Variety

USA In English
93 minutes 35mm


Jeffrey Levy-Hinte
David Sonenberg
Leon Gast


Paul Goldsmith
Kevin Keating
Albert Maysles
Roderick Young


David Smith


James Brown
Bill Withers
BB King
The Spinners
Miriam Makeba
Celia Cruz and the Fania All-Stars
The Crusaders
Sister Sledge


Don King
Muhammad Ali
George Plimpton
Stokely Carmichael


Toronto 2008; Berlin, San Francisco 2009


Headlining James Brown, ‘Zaire 74’, the music festival of soul and African-diaspora talent that preceded the Ali-Foreman ‘Rumble in the Jungle’, has long lived in legend. More than 30 years later we can finally see and hear why. With access to long-abandoned film and sound recordings, producer/director Jeffrey Levy-Hinte has completed the great concert doco that was always supposed to be. Brown, in peak form, opens and closes the movie, which cherry picks the three-day event for thrilling performances by Miriam Makeba, Celia Cruz, B.B. King (and Lucille), The Spinners, Bill Withers and more. With the benefit of great digitised sound, what further encouragement do you need to experience it all on the giant screen via footage that might have been shot yesterday? The backstage footage is just as epochal, with Ali, Don King and many more Black Power luminaries fronting up.” — BG

“Another legendary 1970s-era concert sees the light of day through the miracle of technology in the joyously funky Soul Power.” — Eddie Cockrell, Variety