Hot Docs, my favourite festival of the year, has come and gone. I adore documentaries. I love peeking into people’s lives and being inspired, informed or incensed. With so many documentaries in such a short span of time I am petrified that I will be forced to kick myself incessantly when I hear about the amazing ones I missed.
I can rest easy knowing that I saw Charles Bradley: Soul of America. It’s the story of a down and out aspiring singer and James Brown impersonator who released his first album at the age of sixty-two. It is about dreams that won’t die and perseverance, but above all it is about a beautiful soul that couldn’t be crushed despite heartbreaking hardships. Somehow his spirit remained so pure and loving and hopeful. Naturally I cried like a maniac and of course I am going to get his debut album, stat.
When I was describing the movie to my fellow doc nerds one friend looked on in horror and asked, “He wasn’t at the screening was he?”
I knew right away that my friend was concerned for the safety of Charles Bradley because he had witnessed first hand what I can be like when I am overcome with emotion after a documentary. I am not particularly skilled when it comes to pulling myself together after a sobfest. I tend to gush and frighten people.
Enjoy the trailer below and to make it more like a Hot Docs experience imagine a sniveling woman clutching her Kleenex to her chest and doing everything in her power not to burst into spontaneous cheers and applause.