About the film
Ellis Haizlip’s idea was that the revolution WOULD be televised. His variety show “Soul!,” which ran on national public television from 1968-’73, provided an indispensable platform for giants and rising figures of black American art, culture and politics on the heels of the Civil Rights Movement. “Mr. Soul!,” a tender, vivid and candid tribute to the show’s star and creator, was written and co-directed by Melissa Haizlip, Ellis’ niece. Through archival footage and interviews with luminaries of the time, Haizlip, who died in 1991, emerges as a complex and charismatic figure who crafted “Soul!” as an extension of his own fight for equality as a gay black man. Before Oprah, before Arsenio, there was Mr. Soul! Michigan premiere.