Fiche Film
LONG Métrage | 2012
Charles Bradley: Soul of America
Pays concerné : États-Unis
Durée : 74 minutes
Genre : portrait
Type : documentaire


Réalisateur : Poull Brien

Etats-Unis – 2012 / 1h14min – anglais


For decades he’s been Black Velvet, a soul singer scraping by in Brooklyn’s projects with small club gigs in the evenings and odd jobs by day. But 62-year-old Charles Bradley has an impossible dream: he wants to make it in the music industry as…himself. As if that weren’t challenge enough, he’s also supporting the mother who abandoned him as a child, struggling to pay his own bills, and, in his spare time, learning to read. When Bradley’s noticed by the soul maestros at Daptone Records, it seems as though he just might have a chance. With lyrics that draw directly from the anguish and hardship of his life, his electrifying performances transform pain and sorrow into an experience of sublime transcendence.

Poull Brien

USA – 2012 / 74′ – English –

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 premiered at South By Southwest in Austin and went on to play top film festivals around the world including Hot Docs, Best of Hot Docs (Vancouver), Silverdocs, Munich International Film Festival, Montreal International Documentary Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, Milwaukee Film Festival, Woodstock Film Festival and Bonnaroo. The film won a Special Jury Award at Chicago International Music and Movies Festival and continues its festival run at IDFA, CPH:DOX, Leeds and Vienna this fall.

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 and label owner Tommy Brenneck (Dunham Records), 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 impossible dream he chased for 48 years started 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 show, Charles’ life changed completely. Championed by critics and fans alike, « No Time For Dreaming » became one of the most incredible success stories of the year, landing on Rolling Stone magazine’s top 50 albums of 2011 and catapulting Charles to over 110 performances in 17 countries on 3 continents over the next year alone. In addition, Bradley picked up coveted gigs at top festivals like ACL and Bonnaroo and lit up television via spots on Jay Leno and Carson Daly. while his music video scored over 2 million hits online and played in rotation on VH1.

Following this unprecedented success, Charles’ star has continued to rise. He tours the world 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. »

Poull Brien

Executive Producer/Producer
Alexander Brough

Sam Connelly
Ovasen Post Production

Director of Photography
Stuart McCardle

Additional Camera
John Taws
Jon Chen
Kyle Walling
Valentin Farkasch
Stanislav Mitoussov
Matt Rogers
Arianna Lapenne
Zachary Halberd
Austin Paley
Poull Brien

Adriana Pacheco
Stuart McCardle
Poull Brien

Assistant Editors
Bob Officer
Keith Overton

Damani H. Young
Alex Everett

Stacey Compton Maga

Sound Recordists
Emilie Jackson
Mitchell Bahr
Spencer Moore
Christopher Fox
Alexander Brough
Austin Paley

Digital Intermediate
Harbor Picture Company

Supervising Colorist
Zak Tucker

Roman Hankewycz

Digital Intermediate Producer
Kellan Anderson

Title Animation

Title Design
Robert S. Dunbar

Post Sound Facility
Ovasen Post Production

Dialogue Editor
Eli Cohn

Sound Effects Editor
Jeff Formosa

Re-recording Sound Mixer
Martin Czembor

Continuity Spotter
Sasha Awn

Online Editor
Laura Sinnott

Supervising Sound Editor
Mark Garcia

Administrative Coordinator
Jane Zvarygina

Additional Music Composers
Dylan Lauzon
Alastair Sims
Jay Hodgson

Production Vehicle Rental
Lost Soul Film Cars

Peter Hahn
Puneesh Suri
Elli Delsart
Kevin D. Ward
Ian Soroka
Krysten Pollard

Publicity Consultant
Emily Spitale

Poster Design
Robert S. Dunbar

Poster Photography
Jon Chen

Web Design
Aaron Millman
Steve Macleod
Jeff Mann


[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

Sales Inquiries – In North America
Kevin Iwashina
[email protected]

Sales Inquiries – International
ro*co Films
[email protected]
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