Standing in the Shadows of Motown

Poster for Standing in the Shadows of Motown

Winter 2003 Main series

Sunday, February 16, 2003 at 4:00pm
Sunday, February 16, 2003 at 7:00pm
Monday, February 17, 2003 at 7:00pm

Empire Theatres, New Minas, NS

Directed by


Rated PG · 1h 48m

This absolutely exceptional, thoroughly entertaining documentary, which was a special presentation and huge audience favourite at the Toronto International Film Festival, recounts the experiences of the members of the Funk Brothers, a largely unknown (even in soul music circles) group of musicians who played back-up for such Motown legends as the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder. Over a 14-year period, the Funk Brothers amassed an almost unbelievable contribution to popular music, contributing to more number one songs than Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined! In this infectious, wonderfully spirited tribute to these unsung heroes of American music, narrator Andre Braugher and the Brothers themselves provide anecdotes and recreations of what are surely momentous moments in American music history. Highlights include a raucous and joyous climax in which the Funk Brothers take the stage with such contemporary performing stars as Ben Harper, Meshell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne and Chaka Khan.

“This salute to the literally unsung and underrecognized studio heroes of Motown is so good because it is one of those rare documentaries that combine information with smashing entertainment.” – Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times

“The film truly does rescue [the Funk Brothers] from Motown’s shadows. It’s about time.” – Joe Mader, Hollywood Reporter

“It’s a glorious groove that leaves you wanting more.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone