Wattstax-Special Edition (1973)
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|On August 20 1972 more than 100 000 people attended what came to be known as The Black Woodstock. Wattstax - The Special Edition is the 30th anniversary release of the film that documented that historic event and includes the once-lost original ending featuring Isaac Hayes performances of Theme From Shaft and Soulsville. Running Time: 103 min. Format: DVD MOVIE. Genre: MUSIC DVD. Rating: NR. Age: 085393499723. UPC: 085393499723. Manufacturer No: 34997|
Editor's NoteDirector Mel Stuart battled for years to get the clearance to release this film on video. Lucky for us, because even today, it is an incredibly moving portrait of a community coming together in the aftermath of the violent Watts riots. The emotion conveyed in the music and subjects of the film culminate in a revealing portrait of a strong African American community that resonates today.The film centers on the Watts Summer Festival concert at the Los Angeles Coliseum in August, 1972. Unique performances from Isaac Hayes, The Staple Singers, Rufus Thomas, The Bar-Kays, and a host of others, are intercut with interviews with Watts's residents. Some of the residents are celebrities and future celebrities, such as Richard Pryor well before he became famous, and THE LOVE BOAT'S Ted Lange. The film captures not only the sound and sentiment of a community, but depicts a rare panorama of 1970s Los Angeles. WATTSTAX is an electric, enlightening, and unforgettable cultural time capsule.
Cast & Crew
|Al Bell - Executive Producer|
|Albert King - Featuring|
|Isaac Hayes - Featuring|
|Jaems Alexander - Featuring|
|Jesse Jackson - Featuring|
|Mavis Staples - Featuring|
|Mel Stuart - Director|
|Mel Stuart - Producer|
|Richard Pryor - Featuring|
Plot SummaryOriginally released in 1973, WATTSTAX is a musical and cultural artifact that pays tribute to the Watts riots, which ravaged Los Angeles for six days beginning August 11, 1965. The film's main focus is the Watts Summer Festival's 1972 concert held at the Los Angeles Coliseum, featuring performances by Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas, The Staple Singers, The Bar-Kays, Luther Ingram, and a host of other soul singers. Concert footage is intercut with interviews of African-Americans, who discuss the state of black America in the early 1970s, as well as the effects the riots had on Los Angeles and America at large.Mel Stuart, most famous for helming 1971's WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, maintains an objective point-of-view, allowing the film's subjects to reveal insights as the concert unfolds throughout the course of a long day. Highlights include the unforgettable performance of Rufus Thomas, and Richard Pryor, whose tireless energy keeps the film crew in hysterics throughout his interview. WATTSTAX is a documentary that works on a variety of levels--entertaining, enlightening, engaging--in order to paint a portrait of the black race at a crucial time in American history.