Against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, social tumult and increasing marginalization of impoverished communities of color, Marvin Gaye created “What’s Going On” as a lament for a society content with ignoring the needs of its Black citizens. An upcoming documentary will focus on the development of that seminal and still-relevant 1971 album.
Variety announced the documentary yesterday (July 12) in an exclusive report. ”Marvin, What’s Going On?” is the first documentary about the Motown artist that involves his children (Nona, Marvin III and Frankie Gaye) and ex-wife (Janis Gaye, née Hunter). “We would like to express our excitement about the upcoming documentary feature film about our father and the creation of his amazing ‘What’s Going On’ album,” his children said in a joint statement cited by Variety. “We are proud that his relevance remains intact, and we look forward to being a part of this cinematic journey.”
The documentary, developed by Noah Media Group and Greenlight, will likely enter production later this year. Interviews with Motown stars will feature alongside previously unearthed archival footage, courtesy of Gaye’s family.
Prep yourself by listening to the album below: