Socialist Worker

Soul Boy—an affectionate look at the Northern Soul scene

by Sophie Squire
Issue No. 2704

A love for music and the community it can create is at the centre of Soul Boy, a documentary film that is being aired as part of the “Our lives” series on BBC1.

Soul Boy follows, Anthony, a 17 year old student, whose great passion is the culture of the 1960s and 70s—and especially Northern Soul.

Anthony grew up in the care system from the age of six and says he has seen many people come and go in his life. But in Northern Soul, and the community around it, Anthony finds a sense of belonging.

One of the achievements of this short film documentary is the delicate way that the filmmakers have treated their subjects. This allows their stories to shine.

As the film progresses, stories about other working class people who are part of the Northern Soul community in Nottingham are revealed in a way that feels completely unforced.

This film captures an ageing yet seemingly still thriving community created by working class people and how they welcome in and nurture Anthony.

Through Anthony, many of the other subjects feel a renewed sense of hope that the scene that they love can survive.

Light and heart warming with a tiny bit of social commentary thrown in, Soul Boy serves as a welcome boost during lockdown.

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Tue 12 May 2020, 14:15 BST
Issue No. 2704
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