From the stage to the street, Wattstax brilliantly captures a musical moment, with amazing archive footage and one hell of a soundtrack.
An exciting, vibrant documentary record of the 1972 ‘Wattstax’ music festival in the community of Watts in Los Angeles. Organized by Stax Records, the Memphis-based company foundational in the rise of soul music, the festival gathered musicians and entertainers from the Black community, brought together to remember the Watts Riots from seven years prior. Setting out to be an African-American answer to Woodstock, it was a poignantly passionate response to painful social upheaval.
Featuring superb musical performances, Wattstax is a vital document of American cultural history.
- DIRECTOR: Mel Stuart
- CAST: Richard Pryor, Isaac Hayes, Rufus Thomas, The Staple Sisters, The Bar Kay, Albert King
Welcome to our Sound Season screenings. To accompany our summer of sound at the museum, we’ve curated a season of films that speak to the many roles of sound in cinema. Some feature sound as the subject, some have famous soundtracks, some have groundbreaking sound effects—all are a treat for your ears.