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BBFC RatingWattstax

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CertificateNot Rated
GenreDocumentary, Comedy, Music
Director(s)Mel Stuart
Running Time1HR 42MINS
Extra InfoRec Age: 18+
SeasonMain Programme

Before Summer of Soul there was Wattstax; the searing documentary of Los Angeles’ own Black Woodstock, back on the big screen for its 50th anniversary.

In 1972, 7 years on from the Watts uprisings of 1965, the Stax record label, complete with their roster of artists, took over the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to put on show that sought to define Black American culture.

More than just a concert, Wattstax is a cry of resistance against marginalisation, taking you from the stage and out on to streets, mixing the concert footage with reportage from the Watts residents themselves, bringing to light the living conditions they faced and that still persist today.

Featuring superb appearances from Rufus Thomas, Issac Hayes, The Staple Singers, The Bar-Kays and Albert King with euphoric support from Richard Pryor and Jesse Jackson.

"50 years ago, the Wattstax concert made, and even changed, L.A. history" Los Angeles Times

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