I can’t believe I haven’t shared this one before: the amazing documentary film—“Amazing Grace.” I watched it for the first time several months ago, and I’m watching it again this weekend.
It was filmed in 1972 in a South Los Angeles church, over the course of two evenings, but the film was not released until 2018.
It documents Aretha Franklin recording a live album of the sacred music she grew up on, with an incredible choir.
The audience is churchgoers, family members, and a smattering of celebrities.
The film gives the viewer many different kinds of shivers, but especially the one that comes with the sharp memory of the beauty of a time and a place—a world—that has passed away.
Aretha Franklin’s singing—and her face, when she’s just standing there, waiting—make the knees go weak. Her carriage, her stillness, the sense of the enormity that the moment holds for her.
There are some fun cameo appearances in the audience. They almost don’t matter except as a glimpse into collective memory and how things were, in that moment.
The film received accolades all over the place when it came out in 2018, but somehow I don’t think enough people know about it or have seen it. Get it from the library, rent it on Amazon Prime—but see it.