Soul Kids – The Epic of Black Music

The Stax label revealed great figures of Soul-Music during the 60s and 70s, including Otis Redding and Isaac Hayes, in particular. This heritage is now a thing of the past and feeds our nostalgia collectively. However, the musical spirit and cultural momentum persist thanks to the Stax Academy. Documentary filmmaker Hugo Sobelman traveled to Memphis to hear the echo of a sonic story that was thought to be a thing of the past, but which now echoes in the voices of talented young African-Americans. “Soul Kids” is the film of a generation ready to take up the torch and claim its place in society.

Beyond music, the Stax Academy supports the future of young people whose precarious social situation limits their opportunities for personal development. Thus, in the midst of rehearsals for budding instrumentalists, self-affirmation workshops reveal psychological wounds, strong characters and artistic aspirations. The African-American community in the southern United States still suffers from the ravages of racial segregation today. Having black skin in the 21st century is a societal issue that you have to know how to tame in order to fully live your status as a citizen. This sad reality is the daily life of these teenagers in need of recognition.

Several sequences shot in Memphis reflect this latent malaise from which these apprentice musicians try to escape through the practice of an instrument or the mastery of the vocal art. Interpreting the historic works of Stax Records may be that escape they need to express their frustrations, but saying aloud their turmoil requires moments of sometimes moving dialogue with their teachers. These broken-off exchanges free speech and the evils of youth. The music soothes the mind, but behind this release that the students of Stax Academy experience by engaging in daring performances, there is a diffuse therapeutic aim which makes their consciousness evolve and allows them to acquire confidence.

Some of them will perhaps succeed in reaching their goal, others will take another path but, for the teaching team, finding your way first requires a spiritual balance and the educational work dispensed in Memphis will necessarily bear its consequences. fruits. The vast majority of children enrolled in the various courses provided by the Stax Academy come from a poor social class. Being able to follow such a rich cultural program is a chance for all these kids who street violence could have marginalized. Soul-Music is not just a recreational musical genre, it is a language, a history, a heritage, the soul of a people who today come to the aid of children whom the great America could have been able to leave on the side of the road. “Soul Kids” is a useful, positive, uplifting and, more than ever, forward-looking film!