Archive of films Amazing Grace / Amazing Grace

2018, 87 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2019

Oh Lord! In 1972 Aretha Franklin recorded her greatest gospel album, and director Sydney Pollack was there to capture the explosive spiritual music, Aretha’s singular charisma, the African-American community in Los Angeles, period outfits and the ecstasy. As The New York Times wrote: “Don’t bother with tissues. Bring a towel!”


In 1972 Aretha Franklin recorded her greatest gospel album, and director Sydney Pollack was there in a church on the south side of Los Angeles to capture the event: the fiery music and charisma of the singular Aretha, the city’s Black community (both as musicians and audience), the period outfits, the ecstasy. “It will make you feel as if you’ve seen the face of God,” wrote Rolling Stone. This concert movie shows how African-American pop music kept in touch with its spiritual roots and lost none of its original purpose. You will even see Mick Jagger in the audience. For legal and technical reasons the film waited 46 years for its premiere. Its reception has been all the more intense because the delay has allowed us to remember the late singer at her peak.

Pavel Klusák

About the director

Alan Elliott, Sydney Pollack

Alan Elliott (b. 1964). Filmography: Amazing Grace (2018, doc.)

Sydney Pollack (b. 1934, Lafayette, Indiana – 2008, Los Angeles). Selected filmography: They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969), The Way We Were (1973), Three Days of the Condor (1975), Tootsie (1982), Out of Africa (1985), The Interpreter (2005), Amazing Grace (2018, doc.)


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About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Horizons
Director: Alan Elliott, Sydney Pollack
Music: Alexander Hamilton
Editor: Jeff Buchanan
Producer: Alan Elliott, Joe Boyd, Rob Johnson, Chiemi Karasawa, Spike Lee, Sabrina V. Owens, Jerry Wexler, Tirrell D. Whittley, Joseph Woolf
Sales: Fifth Season
Contact: SPI International
Distributor: Bontonfilm, a.s.

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