Charles Bradley: Soul of America

Poull Brien
USA 2012
74 min

Opening with his 62nd birthday, 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”. Abandoned as a child and nearly shattered by the senseless murder of his brother, Bradley has spent his itinerant life in constant poverty. But he never gave up on his dream to be a professional singer. Discovered while moonlighting as “Black Velvet”, a James Brown impersonator, Bradley teams with musician Tommy Brenneck and record producer Gabriel Roth. Charles’ heartfelt songs and impassioned performances take him from the projects to an opening slot on a national tour, and eventually to the crafting of a debut album that will become one of the most celebrated albums of the year.

Braiding together interviews, rehearsal and performance footage, and the daunting realities of Bradley’s struggle, Poull Brien reveals a deep appreciation for the spirit of this remarkable man. Bradley may call himself “The Screaming Eagle of Soul”, but he’s actually a phoenix, rising from the ashes to live again. (Seattle International Film Festival)


  • Charles Bradley
  • Stuart McCardle
  • Emilie Jackson
  • Spencer Moore
  • Mitchell Bahr
  • Christopher Fox
  • Austin Paley
  • Alexander Brough
  • Adriana Pacheco
  • Stuart McCardle
  • Poull Brien
Sum of Us

Ro*co Films International

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