“It took me a while to realize that in my quest to be creative, I’m a natural storyteller,” Questlow said.
Watch his full interview on The Red Carpet in the video player above.
He said the heart of his acclaimed Oscar-nominated documentary “Summer of the Soul (or If the Revolution Was Not on TV)” came from a desire to create content that his younger version would like to see.
At the heart of the film is the much-forgotten Harlem Cultural Festival, filmed in Marcus Garvey Park (formerly Mount Morris Park) in Harlem, New York, in the summer of 1969. The event celebrated the history, culture and fashion of blacks for six weeks.
MORE: The revolution, which has never been televised, can finally be seen in “Summer of the Soul”
Questlow said he noticed a comparison in stories about the Harlem and Woodstock festival that year. While the festival in upstate New York was designed as a life-changing experience, broadcasters rejected the Harlem Cultural Festival – even though it included performances by music legends such as Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone , Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips and others.
This, Questlow said, is an example of “black erasure,” the rejection and / or rejection of certain black-oriented historical events.
“What happened to this film is probably the best example. Often, with so many works by black artists and black people, our stories are dismissed as unrelated or important enough and important only to us,” he said.
However, he is proud that “Summer of Soul” emphasizes the importance of reflecting the black joy that is expressed in the performances of the artists and the reactions of the 300,000-strong audience in Harlem at a time when New York was in pain.
“This moment has been an important moment in history for many people. It was so healing that I will never again so casually neglect what I do,” Questlow said.
“Summer of the Soul” is the first official project under the Onyx Collective brand for color creators and underrepresented creatives. This now broadcast on Hulu.
FULL LIST: Oscar nominations for 2022
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