In the seminal film LET THE CHURCH SAY AMEN!, filmmaker St. Clair Bourne follows an African-American minister in training as he travels through the South. Filmed in Atlanta, the Mississippi delta, and Chicago, this narrative documentary looks at the Black church from within, and how it affects African-American life in both urban and rural America.
Hudson "Dusty" Barksdale is studying for the ministry in an Atlanta seminary and as part of his training, he journeys to different churches to evaluate which setting best appeals to him. In the rural Mississippi church, he meets an old country preacher whose sermons inspire the worshippers to "get the spirit" so they can endure the next week's labors. In Chicago, he observes a sophisticated minister and his frustrated congregation trying to cope with street kids from the surrounding housing projects and their activist-oriented leader. Finally, Dusty returns to Atlanta only to discover that the Black Muslims are challenging the validity of Christianity, claiming that the religion was used to enslave Africans in America.
Edited by Madeline Anderson, the acclaimed director of I AM SOMEBODY, LET THE CHURCH SAY AMEN! looks at segments of the African-American religious experience, but also explores the universal situation of a young man trying to find his role in life.
"Thoughtful and skillfully made. This documentary should be equally enlightening for those who do or don't belong to the church itself."—Nora Sayre, New York Times