DVD Wattstax [30th Anniversary Special Edition] (DVD 51268),
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Wattstax [30th Anniversary Special Edition]

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • Originally 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.
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    • Rating - Profanity.
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 34997

  • Critic Reviews
    "[T]his 1972 concert a the Los Angeles Coliseum was arguably more remarkable than its hippie predecessor."
    Rolling Stone

    "It's a testament to the music, a mix of funk, gospel, and soul, that the prevailing mood is one of devotion, compassion, and hope, which Stuart captures in full."
    Film Comment

    "[Y]ou are getting a great concert film and a decent slice-of-African-American-life doc for the price of one."
    Entertainment Weekly

    "This is more than just a concert film; it's a retrospective commemoration of the 1965 Watts riots, punctuated by a gut-busting Richard Pryor, just beginning his tenure as the funniest man alive."
    USA Today

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