• Released
  • February 4, 1973
  • R , 1 hr 38 min
  • Documentary
    Music/Performing Arts
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Wattstax Synopsis
Filmmaker chronicles a 1972 concert commemorating the 1965 uprising in the Watts section of L.A.

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Critic Ratings


Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Commentary from shockingly outspoken Watts residents on topics ranging from revolution to infidelity are a vital part of the documentary.
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Washington Post

By Ann Hornaday
A candid, colorful and deeply meaningful sociocultural time capsule, one that captured the black community at the height of its political...
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Washington Post

By Desson Thomson
The result is a time capsule par excellence...This is the best of times and the worst of times, African American style.
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The A.V. Club

By Keith Phipps
Now an invaluable time capsule, the film has to transcend its own conceptual messiness.
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Boston Globe

By Wesley Morris
Wattstax is a disorienting and ironic moviegoing experience. It's a film about the curative powers of rhythm-and-blues music that sets out...
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Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
I wish I could say that Wattstax was an ecstatic soul celebration, but most of the performances, while enjoyable, fall short of memorable.
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TV Guide

The film is saved by the raw power of the performances, and especially, Richard Pryor's bitterly funny observations.
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Village Voice

By Laura Sinagra
Not only documents the soul-titan concert held at L.A. Coliseum seven years after Watts burned, but illuminates the rue and kinesis of a...
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Rated R