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Directed by Mel Stuart

United States 1973 103 mins.

The legendary Memphis record label Stax produced a benefit concert in 1972 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the residents of the largely African American Watts neighborhood, which had undergone intense tumult during the anti-police riots of 1965. While the concert features unforgettable performances by Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Carla and Rufus Thomas, the Bar-Kays, Luther Ingram, and Richard Pryor, among many others, Mel Stuart’s portrait of the people and places of Watts is equally compelling. Using extensive footage shot during the massively attended concert and on the streets of the city, the entertainment value is high, but the beauty, strength, and fortitude of the people shine through just as brightly.

Genres: Documentary

Appears in: 2018 on Celluloid



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.