Cinema: Joyful Noises

SAY AMEN, SOMEBODY

Directed by George T. Nierenberg

At 77, Willie Mae Ford Smith is a round, sweet-faced woman with a shrewd yet sentimental eye, a determined spirit and a powerfully moving voice, now somewhat cracked by long, if lively service to the Lord. She is a beloved gospel singer, much looked to for moral and artistic guidance by people in her profession. Say Amen, Somebody is a documentary that follows her on her exhausting rounds, from bustling home to jumping church services to emotionally galvanic singing conventions. Following in her wake, the audience...

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