Soul Doctor

Set in an era rampant with racism, segregation, and post-war antisemitism, Soul Doctor presents a timely look at how Black culture, specifically gospel music, impacted Jewish music and Black-Jewish relations, echoing the struggles that are still prevalent today. The film is a poignant yet entertaining portrayal of how music and spirituality formed the basis for a unique friendship between the beloved yet controversial father of popular Jewish music, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, and the legendary virtuoso songstress and activist Nina Simone. Following his family’s escape to New York from Nazi-occupied Vienna, Shlomo went on a spiritual journey, distancing himself from the constraints of his father’s strict orthodox Judaism, while seeking a way to use music to reach beyond the confines of the synagogue. He was ostracized when he began to go to a local nightclub frequented mainly by Black people, and it was there that he met Nina Simone, who was castigated for bringing the rabbi to a revival meeting. It was her energetic gospel music that not only inspired him, but also acted as a catalyst in transforming popular Jewish music.

Abdur-Rahim Jackson, Allison Poccia, Charlotte Moore, Jordan Zell, Josh Young, Lital Shalit, Luke Wygodny, Marc Zell, Marvin Meital, Nya , Rebecca Kritzer, Richard Cerato, Toni Elizabeth White, Yovel Moss
Danny Wise
125 Minutes

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