Monday, September 26, 2011

Thunder Soul

Jamie Foxx presents "Thunder Soul", a documentary film about alumni from Houston's legendary Kashmere High School Stage Band that return home in 2008 after 35 years to play a tribute concert for their mentor and band leader. The title for the film comes from a compilation album that was released in 2006 for the Kashmere Stage Band that covered the period of 1968-1974.

"If there is no drummer there is no timing" rings the voice of Conrad "Prof" Johnson. This documentary film has perfect timing from beginning to end that is so much more than the story about music. It is a film about the power of one man who changed the lives of his students and showed the community that it is okay to go against the norm. The film shows that music provides energy and power that is uplifting and inspiring. The members of the band were becoming young adults in a time where civil rights and empowerment was growing. They wanted to prove that the freedom that the generation before them fought for wasn't going to be wasted.

The film has a feel of being a class reunion year book, providing flashbacks of what the band members looked like in their teens and now today. Their individual lives are not the focus of the film, but their passion for music is. Some of the members are doctors, lawyers, teachers, preachers, and family men/women. What they have in common is their mutual admiration for Prof and the music that he instilled in them.

Jamie Foxx is a native of Texas and has a tremendous passion for history and music. He is the executive producer of the film that is possibly the best documentary of the year. The film has received praise from several festivals and will hopefully get some attention from the Academy. I don't see very many documentaries, but a film about music not only caught my attention, but I also found myself tapping my foot throughout and having watery eyes in the end. The film is a perfect example of what our education system should be and how powerful and influential music can be. "Thunder Soul" is absolutely a 5 Quack film and if you see this in the theater, HBO, or DVD you won't be upset.

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