Official Trailer for 'Mr. Soul!' Doc About Ellis Haizlip & His TV Show
"Ellis was a gardener… and cultivated all of these people." An official trailer has debuted for a documentary titled Mr. Soul!, from filmmakers Melissa Haizlip & Sam Pollard. The film celebrates the groundbreaking PBS series known as "Soul!" from its genesis to its eventual loss of funding against the backdrop of a swiftly changing political and social landscape, while profiling Ellis Haizlip, the charismatic man behind one of the most culturally significant and successful television shows in U.S. history. From 1968 to 1973, the show "Soul!", guided by the enigmatic producer and host Ellis Haizlip, offered an unfiltered, uncompromising celebration of Black literature, poetry, music, and politics—voices that had few other options for national exposure, and found the program an improbable place to call home. "With participants' recollections and a bevy of great archival clips, [this film] captures a critical moment in culture whose impact continues to resonate." Damn this looks good! An important and vital reintroduction to an American entertainment icon.
Here's the official trailer (+ poster) for Melissa Haizlip's doc Mr. Soul!, direct from Vimeo:
Before Oprah, before Arsenio, there was Mr. Soul. On the heels of the Civil Rights Movement, one fearless black pioneer reconceived a Harlem Renaissance for a new era, ushering giants and rising stars of Black American culture onto the national television stage with his show "Soul!". He was hip. He was smart. He was innovative, political, and gay. In his own personal fight for social equality, the man ensured the Revolution would be televised. He was Ellis Haizlip. The Revolution was Soul. Mr. Soul! is directed by producer / filmmaker Melissa Haizlip, the niece of Ellis, making her feature directorial debut after one short film previously. It's co-directed by doc producer / filmmaker Sam Pollard, of docs including Two Trains Runnin', The Talk: Race in America, Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me, Maynard, and MLK/FBI previously. This initially premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2018. Haizlip's Mr. Soul! will release in "virtual cinemas" starting on August 28th this summer. For more info, visit the official website. Intrigued?