Amazing Grace at Real Art Ways

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Amazing Grace

“It will make you feel as if you’ve seen the face of God.”
– Rolling Stone

99% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes

The never-before-seen documentary presents the live recording of Aretha Franklin’s album Amazing Grace at The New Bethel Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles in January 1972.

By 1971, Aretha Franklin was known as the Queen of Soul. In the culmination of five years of chart-topping hits, she and her producer, Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records, decided her next recording would take her back to the music of her youth, to the world of American Gospel music.

Amazing Grace would turn out to be an elegiac moment in American musical history as well as a salute to the gospel heritage that had transformed American music in the 1960s.

Forty-seven years later, this film is a testimony to the greatness of Aretha Franklin and a time machine window into a moment in American musical and social history.

Listen to the story behind the film, and background on Aretha and her life, with veteran producer Joe Boyd, who was at the concert, on the Front Row radio show on the BBC at THIS LINK. The Amazing Grace segment begins at 21:14.

"Franklin's voice remains so pure and galvanic that [this] is one of the few movies you could watch with your eyes closed"

Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

"As a document of an iconic musician's skills, the film is essential. But Amazing Grace is far more than that: Watching it is a transcendent, spine-tingling, uplifting, utterly joyous experience."

Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR

"You get both the most lovely gaze a professional camera's ever laid upon Aretha Franklin and some of the mightiest singing she's ever laid on you."

Wesley Morris, New York Times