The Book of Clarence. 2017. USA. Directed by Lee Breuer. 99 min.
A founding member of The Blind Boys of Alabama, one of the world’s most successful gospel groups, Clarence Fountain has lived a remarkable life, full of music and passion. Now in his eighties, slowed by age and diabetes, Clarence retains his brash charm, and wistfully recalls his decades of glory, from beginnings in the choir of a school for the blind, to the group’s sudden rise to stardom as “Oedipus” in the experimental musical The Gospel at Colonus. Here, that show’s iconic creator, Lee Breuer, brings his artistry to bear on Clarence’s story, with inventive editing, extensive interviews, archival footage—and a great deal of soul.