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EEC: Documentary Studies

Previewing our July documentary film selection

The Econ Extra Credit Team Jul 1, 2021
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This month’s documentary selection, “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised),” captures the thrill of live performance — something many of us have longed for over the last year. It also provides its own opportunity to commune in person (in this case, with fellow cinephiles): The film comes out in theaters this weekend.

Directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, “Summer of Soul” takes viewers to 1969’s Harlem Cultural Festival, a series of outdoor summer concerts in New York City’s Mount Morris Park that featured the likes of Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Nina Simone, Sly and the Family Stone, B.B. King and many more. Footage of the festival was locked away in storage for roughly 50 years — even as movies and television specials exploring that same summer’s other big concert, Woodstock, proliferated.

While primarily a concert film, “Summer of Soul” highlights the myriad cultural, economic and sociopolitical conversations that were taking place in 1969, offering clear parallels with many of the same issues America has revisited this past year.

It’s also got a phenomenal soundtrack.

We hope you join us in watching this month’s Econ Extra Credit selection. “Summer of Soul” is showing in select theaters (!) and tomorrow, July 2, it’s available to stream on Hulu. Please note: We’ll be off next week for a brief summer break, returning the following week. In the meantime, please let us know what you thought of the documentary. Send us a note at

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