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Charles Bradley: Soul of America (2012)

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Rating: 7.6/10 (477 votes)
Directed By: Poull Brien
Starring: Alex EverettCharles BradleyJonny SantosSharon Jones
Duration: 75 min
Year: 2012
Genre: BiographyDocumentaryMusic
Language: English
Released: 09 Mar 2012
Plot: Starting off on his 62nd birthday, Charles Bradley: Soul of America follows the extraordinary journey of singer Charles Bradley during the electrifying and transformative months leading up to the release of his debut album "No Time for Dreaming." The 74-minute documentary feature will premiere at the SXSW 2012 Film Festival in Austin, Texas. Despite being abandoned as a child, a period of homelessness, the devastating loss of his brother and constant poverty, Charles never gave up on his life long dream to be a professional singer. With the help of producer and Grammy-winner Gabriel Roth (Daptone Records) and musician Tommy Brenneck, Charles moved away from the James Brown covers he'd been performing for nearly half a century and focused on finding his own unique voice. Earning himself an opening spot on tour for Sharon Jones, the biggest artist in the Daptone stable, Charles delivered the most impassioned performances of his life. Coming up during one of the worst economic downturns in history, Charles' heartfelt songs about tragedy, the downfall of the American dream, and hope for a better world resonated with audiences and the future he'd been chasing for 48 years was starting to become a reality. But, while experiencing his first taste of success, Charles couldn't escape the adversity that had followed him since birth. When the oppressive mortgage on his 87-year-old mother's house threatened to cost him everything, Charles hit a new low. And then, following his sold out album release, Charles' life changed completely. Championed by critics and fans alike, "No Time For Dreaming" became one of the best-selling independent records of the year, landing on Rolling Stone magazine's top 50 albums of 2011 and securing Charles coveted spots on late night shows with Jay Leno and Carson Daly. Scoring more than 1.5 million views online, his music video was quickly snatched up by VH1 and bookings began pouring in. In the time since his incredible debut, Charles' star has continued to rise. He tours the world almost year-round to growing crowds, pouring his soul out at each show as if it's his last and stepping off stage to give out teary-eyed hugs and acknowledge the miracle of the journey that Spin calls "...utterly amazing."

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