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PREVIEW: Aretha, ‘Amazing Grace’ at Tanglewood’s Linde Center

It's hard to say why so many people with an affinity for neither the gospel nor gospel music weep when they listen to Aretha sing the gospel classics, but Mick Jagger could probably explain it, because he was present at the 1972 recording session for "Amazing Grace."

Lenox — Tanglewood Learning Institute will screen the Aretha Franklin biopic “Amazing Grace” Thursday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. in Studio E of the Linde Center for Music and Learning. Filmed in 1972 at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles, the movie documents the making of the best-selling live gospel music album of all time.

It’s hard to say why so many people with an affinity for neither the gospel nor gospel music weep when they listen to Aretha sing the gospel classics, but Mick Jagger could probably explain it, because he was present at the 1972 recording session for “Amazing Grace.” In 2018, Mick explained to the Los Angeles Times that “being there in a church, you’re part of the experience — you’re not just a member of an audience . . .”

People of all stripes, colors and persuasions struggle to account for the immense emotional power of Aretha Franklin’s music. And now, nearly 50 years after its filming, “Amazing Grace” has everyone looking for ways to describe it. Richard Brody of the New Yorker called it “a triumph of timeless artistry over transitory obstacles; its very existence is a secular miracle.” National Public Radio said the movie is “nothing short of a revelation, soaring from one chill-inducing moment to another.” Los Angeles Times film critic Justin Chang described the movie as “an unmitigated joy.” The New York Times advised: “Don’t bother with tissues. Bring a towel.” And, finally, Rolling Stone magazine, not exactly famous for their church attendance, used the strongest words of all: “It will make you feel as if you’ve seen the face of God.” And they’re right.

TICKETS HERE

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“Amazing Grace” is presented in collaboration with Berkshire International Film Festival.

Here’s a 10-minute preview of “Amazing Grace.”

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