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Soul Food


List Price: $19.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Vanessa Williams (VII), Vivica A. Fox, Nia Long, Michael Beach, Mekhi Phifer
  • Directors: George Tillman Jr.
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 1999
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000ILED
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #483,018 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Soul Food" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Web Access
  • "I Care For You" Music Video

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Soul Food is the kind of movie that seems to have been blessed throughout its low-budget production, and it's got a quality of warmth and charm that fits perfectly with its authentic drama about a large African-American family in Chicago. Twenty-eight-year-old writer-director George Tillman Jr. drew autobiographical inspiration from his upbringing in Milwaukee, and on a well-spent $6.5 million budget he succeeded where similar films (including Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back) fell short: He depicts his many characters with such depth and sympathy that, by the time they have weathered several family crises, we've come to care and feel for them and the powerful ties that bind them together. As seen through the eyes of Tillman's young alter ego Ahmad (Brandon Hammond), the film primarily focuses on the rivalries and affections that rise and fall among Ahmad's mother (Vivica A. Fox) and her two sisters (Vanessa L. Williams, Nia Long). Through them, and through the weekly Sunday dinners cooked with love by their mother, Big Mama (Irma P. Hall), we witness marital bliss and distress, infidelity, success, failure... in short, the spices of life both bitter and sweet. But when Big Mama falls into a diabetic coma, Ahmad watches as his family begins to fall apart without the stability and love that Big Mama provided with every Sunday meal.

Tillman's touch can be overly nostalgic, melodramatic, and cloyingly sentimental, but never so much that the movie loses its firm grip on reality. As a universal portrait of family life, Soul Food ranks among the very best films of its kind--believable, funny, emotional, and always approaching its characters (well-played by a uniformly excellent cast) with a generous spirit of forgiveness and understanding. As satisfying as one of Big Mama's delicious dinners, Soul Food is the kind of movie that keeps you coming back for more. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

I grew up watching this movie & always loved it!
Steve1969
I can relate (a lot) to this movie and some of the characters in it...very well told story...great for ALL family's!
Darryl Wren
I love "Soul Food" it is a great portrayal of the black American family.
SanSan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 24, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I went to see this movie with an African American friend. When he told me about the movie I figured I might not be able to relate, because it was about an African American family. And, in this society we all sometimes get caught up in our differences as opposed to what makes us so much alike. By the end of this movie, I felt like I had just seen the best family movie that I had ever seen. Regardless of the ethnic make-up of the family. Soul Food as certainly more than a movie about an African American family. It is a movie about strong family values and how those values are challenged by tragedy, jobs, deciet, miscommunication and betrayal. This movie depicts how a family can overcome all of those obstacles and maintain the most important value of them all... love for family.
As I further thought about what I had seen, I realized how rare we see movies of this nature featuring African Americans. I also realized how sad it is that most non-African Americans won't go to see this movie for that reason alone. If they only knew how much they missed.
In addition to being hungry following this movie, I also felt a warm spirit come over me. And, I also realized that black or white, family values are pretty much the same. Finally, I realized just how much I miss sitting down with my family over dinner. So, the following Sunday, my wife and I gathered our children, their grandparents and a few family friends and we had the best dinner I've experienced in a long time. We've now made this a tradition. Now if I and my wife can learn to cook the way they did in Soul Food....
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tony_Tone on February 25, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I can watch this movie all day long.. this movie reminds me so much of my family when i was coming up the sunday dinners, just being around each other , the sibling riviarly i can most defintely relate to.. this a breath of fresh air from the normal hood type movies.. yes that is a part of life but it just a portion of life .. Good to see us as african american people seein an another light .. Hats off to Producers, Directors, Writers .. Love the soundtrack also !
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By I.B. on May 30, 2000
Format: DVD
This movie is something everyone can relate to in some way no matter what race you are. Watching this reminded me of my own family. The three sisters also reminded me of my family. The rich child, child with kids and the young one who still is coming up. The grandson reminded me of myself when I was younger. This movie is about the ups and downs of life and how a family sticks together no matter what hard times come around. It shows how one person(the grandmother) had such a strong power over everybody by keeping them together. I guess the big dinners was all part of it because thats when everyone used to get together. Buying this will not leave you in doubt about wasting your money because the story is tight from beginning to end. So far this is the best movie (and soundtrack) to drop from babyface. If your not sure..trust me when I say this is something u just want to have if you like collecting movies and even if you don't.
get it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By The Fancy One on August 15, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This is one of the best movies featuring black characters I've ever seen. It was refreshing to see a movie that wasn't glorifying violence, but focusing on the triumphs and tragedies of one family...I saw some of the situations presented in "Soul Food" so much like my own family. I identified most with the Vanessa Williams character. Everyone should see this movie, no matter what their race. It will make you laugh, make you cry...it's that type of movie. GET IT.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Kaczmarek on November 9, 2003
Format: DVD
Thank goodness someone made a good, warm-hearted film about a family--that's pretty much what I thought when I first saw "Soul Food" in the theater in 1997. Like many Americans, I was starved for a movie that didn't portray the American family as broken or malignant, which appears to be the Hollywood standard. "Soul Food" works primarily because it never loses sight of the importance of family, even as its members may bicker or transgress. The plot focuses on the lasting impact of the family matriarch--Big Mama (played wonderfully by Irma P. Hall)--whose kind heart and wise soul holds the family of mostly younger couples together, despite their foibles. When she passes away from complications due to diabetes, her daughters must overcome their differences to uphold the family traditions, best embodied by Sunday dinners that go beyond simple meals. The cast is generally superb, though Vivica Fox and Brandon Hammond (as grandson Ahmad, through whose eyes we are told the story), sometimes try too hard, making their characters border on caricature in a film that otherwise seems so lifelike. There is a subplot involving a hidden family fortune that also gets in the way--writer and director George Tillman, Jr., seems to want to jam as much into the story as possible when he really doesn't have to, as the main plot is interesting enough. These flaws are oddly more apparent on the small screen than they were on the big screen. Nonetheless, "Soul Food," despite its "R" rating, is an effective family film, one with a sense of authenticity that Hollywood seems to have mostly forgotten.
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