Wattstax (1973)

Rated R

Wattstax, directed by Mel Stuart and filmed by David L. Wolper, was a film that chronicled a benefit concert put on by the Stax Records company for the 7th Annual Watts Summer Festival.  The festival was created to commemorate the riots that occurred from August 11 to August 16, 1965 in the African-American community of Watts, inside Los Angeles. 

Held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on August 20, 1972, the six-hour concert featured Stax’s largest stars such as The Staple Singers; Luther Ingram; father-and-daughter, Rufus and Carla Thomas; The Bar-Kays; Albert King; Kim Weston; Johnnie Taylor and Isaac Hayes.  The concert featured commentary about Black life from everyday citizens in institutions, such as the church and the barbershop, integral in the Black community. 

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