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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.