[Los Angeles, CA] Aretha Franklin recorded her Amazing Grace album January 13th & 14th 1972 at New Temple Missionary Baptist Church located on 87th & Broadway in South Los Angeles. It was a live recording and featured many greats, including Rev. James Cleveland.
First screened Feb. 2019
The album was produced but the live footage was shelved for decades until the estate of “The Queen of Soul” approved it to be shown. In February of this year, the Pan-African Film Festival featured the screening as part of it’s opening night festivities. The screening took place at the Director’s Guild in Hollywood.
Starting April 5th, the general public has been given an opportunity to see the screening as it debuted in over 1,000 theaters. I was one of those viewers.
The film is just as iconic as the album as “The Queen” at age 29 dazzled those in attendance by her gospel renditions. The 87-minute film is more raw footage of the two-day concert and features many camera angles which were present to document the occasion.
While the documentary is, what it is; it falls short on taking advantage of the storytelling which are featured in similar formats. You are left wondered why the producers could not have woven in more anecdotal reactions from those who participated in the filming as well as more commentary which was surely would be available before and following 1972?
The documentary is worth seeing. The church is still on 87th & Broadway so it will be interesting to see the reaction of those who take a stroll down memory lane.
My “Hoodie Score” on a scale of 1-10 (ten being the highest) is an 8, due to the rare footage.