Soul Power

Rated 3.0

Jeffrey Levy-Hinte’s concert film Soul Power tries to fill in the gaps of the sublime Rumble in the Jungle documentary When We Were Kings, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that this is just reheated leftovers. Soul Power concentrates on the epic music festival that was intended to be a side card to the Ali-Foreman title fight, and which brought together a brilliant lineup of African and African-American artists including the Spinners, B.B. King, Bill Withers and headliner James Brown). The performances are brilliant, but the film follows an annoying formula of allotting one song to each artist (except for Brown, who gets three), and the backstage stuff is random and hardly illuminating. The film is selling itself as “the greatest music festival that you have never seen,” and I feel like I still haven’t.