Private Project

Body and Soul: An American Bridge

Out of all the cross-cultural encounters that have resulted in the richness of American popular music, none has been so prominent or so fraught with fraternity and conflict as the one between African Americans and American Jews. This documentary teases out the strands of this cultural knot by focusing on the early performance history of the standard, “Body and Soul,” one of the most recorded songs in the jazz repertoire.

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  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    58 minutes 20 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 15, 2016
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
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Director Biography - Robert Philipson

Robert Philipson backed into filmmaking when he took an Introduction of Videography course at Berkeley Community College while trying to learn how to operate a video camera. Already an experienced writer and college professor (Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Wisconsin), Robert was blessed with an intuitive sense of form and structure. Quickly mastering the independent filmmaker’s art of seducing others to his projects, Philipson turned his multimedia classes to good account. His first film festival entry, “Ma Rainey’s Lesbian Licks,” (2005) played in 20 different film festivals. His subsequent shorts have played in over 70 film festivals and have won an award or two. While acknowledging that he has much to learn, Robert has no plans to attend film school. Body and Soul: An American Bridge is his first feature-length documentary.

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