40 years after Dr. Martin Luther King‘s assassination, Spanish independent journalist/writer/director David Moreu explored the relationship between the civil rights movement and the soul music scene in the 60s. Shot in Memphis (Tennessee), "Down To Earth" captures how instrumental soul music was in providing a voice for the struggle and integrating people, using Otis Redding‘s label home, Stax Records, as a specific focus point. The documentary also taps into it’s legacy and it’s effect on music (including hip hop) and it’s followers today.
A fascinating story told in first person by some famous musicians and local celebrities in Memphis, like the Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles (civil rights activist), Deanie Parker (Stax Records), David Porter (Stax composer and musician), Willie Mitchell (Hi Records president and Grammy Trustee Award 2008) and Zelma Redding (Otis Redding wife).
“Down To Earth” also talks about the legacy of that convulsive era due to the participation of anonymous characters and young musicians who have been interviewed in some of the most famous barber shops in Memphis. It is the sincere vision of a generation that did not live directly those days of struggle, but it has inherited his ideals and continues to enjoy its music. A unique glimpse at a key period in the history of the United States that is impossible to understand without its soundtrack.
"Down To Earth" was first screened in 2009 in selected festivals in Spain and England, and was awarded 1st prize at the Baumann Cinema Festival in Barcelona.