ReMastered: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke

Available on Netflix
In the early years of rock and roll, Sam Cooke was a rising star on the gospel circuit, emerging from Chicago. He would soon switch to popular music, and attained meteoric success, with a large fan base that encompassed both African Americans and whites, despite the segregation of 1950s society and of the music industry. He was as savvy a businessman as he was an unforgettable performer, starting his own record label and music publishing company at a time when African American musicians were routinely ripped off by unscrupulous record labels and promoters. Cooke was also a man of deep conviction who refused to play in segregated concert halls in the South, and used his music and celebrity as a way to lift up fellow African Americans. In the 1960s, he befriended Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, and his activism in civil rights continued to grow. Cooke was a target of FBI surveillance, and his record label was starting to grow more alarmed at his activism in the months leading to his mysterious shooting death in 1964 in a seedy motel in Los Angeles. REMASTERED: THE TWO KILLINGS OF SAM COOKE takes a comprehensive look at the theories surrounding the cause of Cooke's death, how institutional racism was a factor in the case, and the continuing legacy of Cooke, as both an influential artist and a pioneer for civil rights.