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Amazing Grace: Aretha Franklin (U)*Tickets available on the door
Mon 17 June @ 8:00 pm£7 – £10
Amazing Grace: Aretha Franklin (U) – 2018, USA, 91 mins
Director: Sidney Pollack
A documentary presenting Aretha Franklin with choir at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles in January 1972. One of the great gospel performances newly rediscovered.
“There’s an oceanic swell of euphoria and joy in this extraordinary film… Franklin is stunningly charismatic in her very reticence and restraint. Unlike the church’s ebullient and charming pastor, James Cleveland, who MCs the event, Franklin never addresses the audience other than in her singing, sometimes from the pulpit, sometimes from the piano keyboard; she is dressed simply, almost sacrificially, in a plain dress. Her one purely dramatic gesture comes at the very end when she turns and sings directly to the choir – an electrifying, enigmatic gesture.
The most heartwrenching moment arrives when Cleveland invites Franklin’s father, the Rev CL Franklin, to address the congregation, which he does, talking fondly of Aretha’s childhood. At another stage, he rushes forward while she is singing and mops her brow, just as he might have done when she was a girl.
Yet, however moved we all are, Franklin herself remains calm between numbers, as if in the studio rather than on the concert stage, yet perhaps sensing, as a true artist, that it is her audience and not she who must cry.” The Guardian
Doors open for fine wines and all manner of drinks at 7pm. Film at 8pm