• Susanne Rostock (2011)
  • US
  • 104 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

The life of singer, actor and political activist Harry Belafonte contains enough material for three documentaries, but this joyful and inspiring portrait couldn't be bettered. As a Grammy-award-winning singer, he crossed colour lines and used his fame to promote folk and roots music. As an actor, he studied with Marlon Brando and starred in the ground-breaking all-black 1954 musical Carmen Jones. But it is as an activist that Belafonte will leave his legacy. Mentored by Paul Robeson, Belafonte has been a confidant of Martin Luther King, a Unicef goodwill ambassador and a perennial critic of US foreign policy; his fierce sense of justice standing firm through decades of worldwide political and social change. The incredible archive footage gathered by director Susanne Rostock is impressive enough - including a bullish Belafonte bending a nervous JFK's ear - but what stays longest in the mind is the conscience and spirit of the man. Still youthful in his 80s, Belafonte remains committed to just causes with the passion of someone half his age.

Plot Summary

Documentary that charts the life and work of Harry Belafonte, the black American singer and actor whose tireless efforts as an activist helped further the cause of civil rights not only in his own country but around the world as well.

Cast and crew


Harry Belafonte
Harry Belafonte


Susanne Rostock

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Verve Pictures
Some violence, swearing.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 8 Jun 2012
Certificate E