Indie Lens Pop-Up: Mr. SOUL!
Event Date and Time: February 17, 2021 7:00 pm
Tickets and Reservations
Join us for our 2021 series of films presented this winter and spring through the continued partnership between TIFF, The Puffin Foundation Ltd., PBS, and Indie Lens Pop-Up, a neighborhood series that brings people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations. Film screenings are free but registration is required.
In 1968, producer Ellis Haizlip developed a new show aimed at Black audiences, one that used the familiar variety-show format to display and celebrate the breadth of Black culture. For five years, the public television series SOUL! highlighted Black literature, music, and politics, and often paired guests in unexpected juxtapositions that gave them an opportunity to shine in unique ways. Haizlip presided over the show as an unusual, unassuming host who conducted interviews with both an intense interest and laid-back style, attracting notable, eclectic figures to the show, and providing a national platform for previously unheard voices.
The show quickly gained critical praise and public support as one of the first platforms to expand the image of African Americans on television and shift their representation from inner-city poverty and violence to the vibrancy of the Black Arts Movement. Despite pressure from producers and government administrations, the show never wavered in its celebration of all facets of Black culture, from ballet dancers to blues singers. Mr. SOUL! delves into this critical moment in television history, as well as the man who guided it, through participants’ recollections and archival footage, highlighting a turning point in representation whose impact continues to resonate to this day.
Documentary – 90mins
Directed by Melissa Haizlip, Samuel D. Pollard