Body and Soul: An American Bridge

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About The Film

The story of one of the most popular songs in the jazz repertoire, BODY AND SOUL: AN AMERICAN BRIDGE illustrates the complex musical interplay between Jewish and African-American cultures.

The Great American Songbook is replete with standards from Jewish composers and inducted into the jazz canon by black musicians. Perhaps none has been as enduring as the 1930s tune “Body and Soul,” composed by Jewish songwriter Johnny Green, introduced on Broadway by Jewish torch singer Libby Holman, and first recorded as a jazz piece by Louis Armstrong. Filmmaker Robert Philipson goes in-depth to examine the song’s timelessness, and its role at the heart of both black and Jewish music. It’s a link both sympathetic and contentious, with both sides borrowing and learning from, and complementing the other. Interviews with experts and historians combine with rare archival footage and brilliant performances to tell the narrative of this ageless classic.

Winner of the Best Music Documentary award at the San Francisco Black Film Festival, BODY AND SOUL: AN AMERICAN BRIDGE is a tribute to the enduring power of song to break down barriers and unite disparate peoples. 

Film Details

Running Time 
58 minutes
Genre 
Directors 
Country 
Year 
2017
Language 
Premiere 
Southeast Premiere