Soundtrack For A Revolution DVD Review

Cover Art and Menus: 7/10
The cover for Soundtrack for a Revolution features in prominent type the musical performers who have done songs for the documentary.  At the bottom of the cover we get a side shot of Martin Luther King, Jr..  The cover is different, and not bad at all, but a more prominent portrayal of the “revolution,” or more specifically the civil rights movement, would have been nice.  The menu is the same photo and it stationary (and I find it quite funny that the menu for Soundtrack for a Revolution has absolutely no music whatsoever,

Features: 3/10

  • Full Musical Performances – We get 41 minutes of the songs that were recorded for the documentary, in their entirety.  They are in the movie, but we get uncut versions of the songs, which are all recorded in studio.  There are also two extra songs that were not included in the documentary
  • Deleted Interviews – This really is just some of the deleted interviews that were not used in the documentary.  There are 3 interviews here, that last over  minutes.
  • Behind The Scenes Photo Gallery – This one minute extra is merely shots from the music performances.

The Movie: 7/10
Soundtrack for a Revolution is an interesting look at how the civil rights movement was influenced by music, and how the music relates to what was happening.  By intermixing interviews with several of the student organizers of various parts of the movement, explaining what historically happened, while at the same time discussing the songs that came out of that time period, you get an interesting take on how that time period in our country went through such a monumental change.  There are interviews telling the story, with footage from that time period that demonstrates the hardships.

We get to see how the movement developed, and we see and hear the different songs that influenced many of these individuals.  Several times in the documentary a specific songs was mentioned by those interviewed, and we then also got to see footage of individuals singing the song back in the 1960’s.  The unique part about this documentary is that we then see several modern artists like Wyclef Jean John Legend, and Angie Stone singing their own studio versions of those same songs.  The results are amazing, even if it does sometimes take away from the flow of the documentary.

I thought that Soundtrack for a Revolution was well executed, if not a bit staggered.  It truly was an interesting point of view and insight into a time and sound that is foreign to me, being my age.  It was interesting to hear about the way that those involved related to how the music was such a part of the movement, being almost a way for those involved to protest and avoid violence.  The songs truly were a way to tell their story, in a medium that they felt comfortable with.  The results were truly amazing, and to hear this modern versions of those songs was quite a different take for a documentary.

Audio & Video: 6/10
Most of the documentary looks and sounds very nice, especially for a standard DVD.  There are numerous older black and white snippets of footage of the  civil rights movement as it happened , and of course they look dated, but they still stand up, and you can’t expect those to look any better than they do.  Overall this is just a documentary with interviews.

The audio on the interviews and for most of the movie is good also, but I have to say that I did not think the musical numbers sounded stellar.  They are all done in studio, but to me the mix was a bit off for most of the performances.  The music is excellent though, and more than likely the audio mix will not effect the power of the songs. Overall the audio and video were just average.

Value: 5/10
This is a powerful view of a few individuals who are able to talk about the effect that music had on those who were struggling during the civil rights movement.  It is a unique story, that is intermixed with modern musicians tackling some of the songs that were made and discovered during that time period.  The story does a great job of explaining how the songs and music were such an integral part of that time.  The documentary is worth a watch, but the intermix of the compelling story, only to be broken up  by the songs, is a bit disjointed.  Worth a watch, but not much of a buy,

Overall Score 6/10