The 18th annual Tribeca Film Festival opened with Roger Ross Williams’ documentary “The Apollo” at the iconic uptown venue which performers and Harlem community members call “home.”
“You can feel the history, the echo of the entertainers,” Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Robert De Niro said in a speech before the film. “In this administration, during these disturbing times of promoting racism, tonight, we reject it. No you don’t, not here, not on this stage.”
Apollo - Documentary - HBO - Production - Williams
In “The Apollo” documentary, an HBO production, Williams chronicles the venue’s 85-year-history, moving between historic and present-day footage to show how far the country has come in terms of celebrating diversity, while reminding viewers how far America still has to go. In the past, The Apollo was the only venue in New York City to allow black performers. That’s no longer the case, of course, but Williams’ film argues that times are still hard. Williams put this message in perspective through behind-the-scenes content following a stage adaptation of Ta Nehisi-Coates’ book “Between the World and Me,” written as a father-to-son letter about how to live as a black man in a climate of police brutality and discrimination.
The film includes interviews with cultural icons such as Smokey Robinson, Pharrell Williams, and Patti LaBelle, and also features live footage of concerts from artists such as Billie Holiday, Public Enemy, and Lauryn Hill.
Apollo - Home - Home - Harlem
“The Apollo is home and it’s not only home to Harlem...
Wake Up To Breaking News!