down to earth - soul and civil rights
On April 4 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on the eve of a peaceful march. On the 40th anniversary of this tragic event, we present “Down To Earth”, a short-film documentary about the magical relationship that flourished between the civil rights movement and soul music in the 60s, when the black community fought for equal rights in a country that still lived under racial segregation.
A fascinating story told in first person by some famous musicians and local celebrities in Memphis, like the Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles (civil rights activist), Deanie Parker (Stax Records), David Porter (Stax composer and musician), Willie Mitchell (Hi Records president and Grammy Trustee Award 2008) and Zelma Redding (Otis Redding wife).
“Down To Earth” also talks about the legacy of that convulsive era due to the participation of anonymous characters and young musicians who have been interviewed in some of the most famous barber shops in Memphis. It is the sincere vision of a generation that did not live directly those days of struggle, but it has inherited his ideals and continues to enjoy its music.
A unique glimpse at a key period in the history of the United States that is impossible to understand without its soundtrack.
Year of production: 2008
Running time: 27 minutes
Written & directed by David Moreu
Photography: David Moreu & Nuria Andrés
Edition: Carlos Padilla
Sound: Nuria Andrés
Audio mixer: Marcos Casademunt
Producer: David Moreu
Archive images: Prelinger Archives & The Stax Museum of American Soul Music
"Down To Earth" was first screened at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music (Memphis), it has been awarded with the best documentary prize at the Baumann Festival 2009 and it has been screened at MECAL 2009, CINESTRAT 2009, Islantilla Cineforum 2009 and Black Music & Films 2009.