Essential Cinema: New 4K Restoration
Say Amen, Somebody
Directed by George T. Nierenberg
“One of the most joyful movies I’ve ever seen.”—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
This new 4K digital restoration presents a new opportunity to enjoy this joyous celebration of African American culture and history, one of the top music documentaries of all time.
Say Amen, Somebody features earth-shaking performances by the “Father of Gospel,” Thomas A. Dorsey (composer of Take My Hand Precious Lord, one of the most beloved gospel songs ever written), Mother Willie Mae Ford Smith, the O’Neal Twins, Zella Jackson Price, Delois Barrett Campbell, Billie Barrett Green Bey, and Rodessa Barrett Porter.
The documentary explores the family relationships of gospel performers and features moving discussions about changes in society and the rights of women. While making breakfast, singer Delois Barrett Campbell tries to convince her minister husband that her dreams of performing in Europe are as important as his mission. Delois also speaks with her disciple, Zella Jackson Price, about a woman’s place in gospel.
The origins of gospel come under dispute when St. Louis native Smith insists that the idea for the first gospel convention started in her hometown, while Chicago native Martin insists that the first location for the convention was the Windy City. The film was shot in both cities.
When it was first released in the early 1980s, the film received an overwhelming critical response, garnering rave reviews around the world. 1982, U.S., 4K DCP, 100 minutes. Rated G.