TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 Fri, Apr 27, 2018 9:00 PM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Sat, Apr 28, 2018 10:00 AM
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema Sat, May 5, 2018 6:00 PM
Film Info
Country Listing:USA
Premiere Status:International Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2018
Program Category:Special Presentations
Film Subjects:LGBT Cultures & Issues
Music & Musicians
Race & Racism
Television & Popular Culture
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Sam Pollard
Melissa Haizlip
Producer(s):Melissa Haizlip
Executive Producer(s):Blair Underwood
Consulting Producer(s):Doug Blush
Editor(s):Blair McClendon
Giovanni Autran
Annukka Lilja
Supervising Editor(s):Doug Blush
Writer(s):Melissa Haizlip
Cinematography:Hans Charles
Composer:Robert Glasper
Ed Gerrard


Premiering in 1968, SOUL! was the first nationally broadcast all-Black variety show on public television, merging artists from the margins with post–civil rights Black radical thought. Visionary producer-turned-host Ellis Haizlip—openly gay and committed to charting new aesthetic territory—brought the avant-garde into the mainstream by foregrounding poetry and politics. Debuting icons like Patti Labelle, Ashford & Simpson and Arsenio Hall alongside early legends such as Toni Morrison, James Baldwin and the Last Poets, Haizlip's keen ear for talent propelled a cultural shift so powerful it pushed Nixon into action. Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Kathleen Cleaver and more reflect on this lost chapter of pop culture history and revisit their time on SOUL! With original music by Robert Glasper, take a deep dive into these unseen yet urgent archives and learn about the complex man who was the SOUL! of it all. Nataleah Hunter-Young

Additional Information

CBC - "From McQueen to M.I.A. to Mister Rogers, here are the must-see arts films at Hot Docs 2018"

POV - "Review: "Mr. SOUL!"

Goomba Stop - "I laughed, shed a tear, and wanted to get up and dance."

Panic Manual - "Presents a loving portrait of a show that was gone all too soon."

IDA - "20 IDA-supported Films Screening at Hot Docs"

CBC - "What's queer at Hot Docs? A guide to everything LGBTQ at North America's biggest documentary event."