Directed by Alan Elliot
“Nothing short of a revelation, soaring from one chill-inducing moment to another.”—Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR
One of the most-anticipated films of the season, a documentary capturing the live recording of Aretha Franklin’s best-selling gospel album, Amazing Grace, languished for decades after being shot in 1972. Sidney Pollock, who filmed the material, couldn’t get over the hurdle of synching the soundtrack to the picture, until producer Alan Elliott took over the project – finding a way to marry the sound and image, unlocking the key to one of the most riveting portraits of the artistic process. The project also sat in legal limbo for years while Franklin resisted its release for reasons that remain unclear.
The footage for Amazing Grace was captured in January 1972 at Temple Missionary Baptist in Los Angeles, where Franklin was joined by Rev. James Cleveland and his choir for two days of gospel sessions.
As Elliott said, “This is a transcendent experience if you’re a music lover. You don’t have to love gospel or R&B or any [particular] style. This is just pure music, played by one of the great rhythm sections in music history, sung by the greatest singer of our generation.” 2018, U.S., DCP, 87 minutes. Recommended for all ages.