Amazing Grace

USA | 2019 | 87mins | G

  • Directed by Alan Elliott (feature debut), Sydney Pollack (‘Out of Africa’, ‘Tootsie’, ‘The Interpreter’)
  • Starring Aretha Franklin, James Cleveland, C.L. Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Bernard Purdie, Chuck Rainey, Clara Ward
  • Documentary, Music

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This is a film that revels in a titanic talent, and the details that an audio recording can never pick up. The close-ups are wonderfully intimate.
Ed Potton, Times (UK)

Brilliantly capturing a remarkable performer near the peak of her prodigious power, Amazing Grace is a thrilling must-watch documentary for Aretha Franklin
Critics Consensus, Rotten Tomatoes

Amazing Grace depicts the 1972 concert when Franklin performed with James Cleveland and The Southern California Community Choir at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles.

Warner Bros Records hired the late Sydney Pollack to film the show over two nights as a companion piece to the recording of a live album of the same name, which went on to become the biggest-selling album of Franklin’s career.

The film remained unseen for decades, because Pollack forgot to use clapperboards, which made it almost impossible to sync sound to image. After Pollack died in 2008, Alan Elliot took over the film and produced with Joe Boyd, Rob Johnson, Sabrina Owens, Tirrell D. Whittley, Jerry Wexler, and Joseph Woolf.

Sydney Pollack’s unfinished documentary, unearthed and reassembled after nearly 50 years, is a priceless gift to music fans.
Rafer Guzman, Newsday

Even for those who do not believe that God’s grace is amazing, it is hard not to see Franklin in her prime as something near miraculous, with a long-buried film serving as a witness in 16mm.
Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail