Owen Gleiberman
May 23, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Only the Strong Survive

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
95 minutes
Limited Release Date
05/09/03
performer
Isaac Hayes, Sam Moore, Wilson Pickett
director
D.A. Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus
distributor
Miramax
genre
musical, Documentary

We gave it a B+

A vital musical ramble. Directed by Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker, this documentary shows us where some of soul’s founders ended up after their moments of pop glory. The picture doesn’t have a lot of structural unity, yet many of these ageless artists perform with a ferocity and funk that has only been amplified by the hard depths of their experience. As long as you’re listening to Wilson Pickett, Sam Moore, or Memphis ”king” Rufus Thomas doing ”Walking the Dog” with a bawdy wink that belies his 82 years, it’s one of the happiest movies around.

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