Jazzfilm: Aretha Franklin – Amazing Grace
«Aretha Franklin – Amazing Grace»
Regi: Sydney Pollack, USA 1972 (87 min)
Free access with festival pass
In January 1972, Aretha Franklin gave two days of gospel performances at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles, recording what would become her bestselling album, Amazing Grace. The sessions were captured by a film crew led by Sydney Pollack, but the footage wound up shelved in a vault and has remained one of the lost cinematic treasures of twentieth-century music. Before Pollack’s death in 2008, he expressed a wish for the film to be completed, and producer Alan Elliott took it up with a team of supporters as a passion project.
Amazing Grace lets the events unfold on film without imposing present-day interviews. It fits in the tradition of other concert documentaries of the era, such as Monterey Pop and Woodstock, yet it stands out for its focus on African-American music.
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