"Nothing short of a revelation" - NPR
In 1971, Aretha Franklin, the undisputed Queen of Soul, brought producer Jerry Wexler, her backup singers, and the legendary Atlantic Records rhythm section to The New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles to record an album of gospel music before an enthusiastic live audience. The result, “Amazing Grace”, went on to become one of the biggest albums of Aretha Franklin’s career and one of her most beloved works.
But even as the album gained fans around the world, few realized that those inspirational sessions had not only been recorded, they had been filmed by a camera crew led by Oscar winning filmmaker Sydney Pollack. Pollack and his team spent two nights capturing Franklin at the height of her powers, as she thrilled a shouting and dancing audience that included Franklin’s father, Reverend C.L. Franklin, gospel legends Clara Ward and Mother Ward of the Ward Family Singers, Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts, and the members of The New Temple Missionary Baptist Church.
But due to technical problems the film has never been seen. Until now.
Amazing Grace is screening as part of MIXTAPE, a season of music films at Oh Yeah Music Centre curated by Feature and supported by Film Hub NI. New screenings on the first Wednesday of every month.
Dir: Alan Elliot & Sydney Pollack, USA 2018, 89 mins