“A candid, colorful and deeply meaningful sociocultural time capsule, one that captured the black community at the height of its political energy and optimism.” (Washington Post)
In 1972 Stax Records organized a benefit concert to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the riots in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. The epochal “black Woodstock,” held at LA’s Memorial Coliseum, featured incendiary performances by Stax artists Isaac Hayes, Albert King, Rufus and Carla Thomas, the Staple Singers, the Emotions, the Bar-Kays, and other greats of soul, R&B, and gospel—plus biting humor from a then little-known Richard Pryor. Wattstax is more than a concert film. It also captures a heady moment in mid-1970s African-American culture, when the community came together to celebrate its survival and renewed hope in its future.