Amazing Grace

V'19

Amazing Grace

Aretha Franklin: Amazing Grace

Alan Elliott, Sydney Pollack
USA, 1972, 2019
Features, 89min, OmdU

© Viennale © Viennale © Viennale

Amazing Grace

Alan Elliott, Sydney Pollack
USA, 1972, 2019
Features, 89min, OmdU

Sun
03
Nov 19
23:00
Gartenbaukino
Mon
04
Nov 19
18:30
Urania
Cast: 
Aretha Franklin
the Reverend James Cleveland
C.F. Franklin
the Southern California Community Choir
Editor: 
Jeff Buchanan
Composer: 
Aretha Franklin

Production: 
40 Acres & a Mule Filmworks
Al’s Records And Tapes
Rampant
Sundial Pictures
Time
Warner Bros
World Sales: 
Endeavor Content
Distribution in Austria: 
Polyfilm
Format: 
DCP
Color

A rare document of a certain period, AMAZING GRACE reveals a specific atmosphere that shifts between the spiritual and the unspoken political moods of those days. Sydney Pollack obviously understands what he was witnessing, as a white filmmaker at a gathering of black brothers and sisters. In 1972, after several successful records, the late Aretha Franklin wanted to do something different. So she returned to the music she grew up with. She brought her band to the Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles to produce “Amazing Grace” – the best-selling soul album released to date. Pollack was asked to cover the event by Warner Bros., but the material was never released. Today, after Franklins death, it seems like the right time. Pollack keeps the presence of the camera to the necessary, not trying to add anything sensational to the dense atmosphere. Franklin, an outspoken voice of Black America all her life, raises her voice and the audience is part of it. Although Franklin had been honored with five Grammys and was a superstar at the time, she is transcendent in this two-day-session, becoming something magical, bigger than the individual. “I want to walk the streets of gold, in the homeland of the soul”, she sings. (Gunnar Landsgesell)

Alan Elliott: AMAZING GRACE (2019)

Sydney Pollack: THIS PROPERTY IS CONDEMNED (1966), THE SCALPHUNTERS (1968), THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON’T THEY? (1969), JEREMIAH JOHNSON (1972), THE YAKUZA (1974), THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR (1975), THE ELECTRIC HORSEMAN (1979), TOOTSIE (1982), OUT OF AFRICA (1985), THE FABULOUS BAKER BOYS (1989), HAVANA (1990), PRESUMED INNOCENT (1990), THE FIRM (1993), RANDOM HEARTS (1999), THE INTERPRETER (2005)