Soul Power documents the Zaire ’74 all-star concert that set the stage for Muhammad Ali and George Foreman’s legendary Rumble in the Jungle.
Originally uncovered during the editing of Oscar-winning documentary When We Were Kings (1996), which captured the Ali/Forman fight, this sizzling footage has been waiting nearly 35 years to see the light. Kings incorporated just a few tantalizing glimpses of the three-day concert.
Soul Power sets the record straight by featuring complete, historic performances from legends such as B.B. King, Bill Withers, Miriam Makeba, and an incendiary James Brown, whose 1971 single lends the film its title.
Like the Rumble itself, the Zaire ’74 concert marked a seminal moment of cross-cultural contact, bringing together African and Black American musicians for a festival spanning geography and generations. Shot by acclaimed cinematographers including Albert Maysles and Paul Goldsmith, the verité-style doc captures the event’s political and spiritual intensity with intimacy and style.