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‘The Apollo’ Review: A Sincere Ode to a Beacon for Black Culture — Tribeca

‘The Apollo’ Review: A Sincere Ode to a Beacon for Black Culture — Tribeca

Some landmarks symbolize the culture behind their existence; others have a hand in creating the culture itself. In Roger Ross Williams’ sincere documentary tribute “The Apollo,” Harlem’s iconic theater receives a generous overview of its role as a cultural hub for black entertainment and culture for close to 90 years. It’s a worthy salute to the theater’s role in sustaining African American performance art through periods of great turmoil, and provides a conduit for exploring how a beacon for black achievement functions from the inside out.

Having said that, “The Apollo” doesn’t work overtime to ask the most probing questions. It’s hard not to watch the movie without considering the issues it glosses over that might have given this absorbing chronicle more of an investigative flair. The non-fiction medium has a reigning king in this department: Documentary maestro Frederick Wiseman, whose cinematic deep-dives include the New York Library portrait “Ex Libris,

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