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Jeff Buckley’s “Amazing” Life Is Subject of Film Documentary
By David Chiu

The overall response to watching Amazing Grace: Jeff Buckley, a posthumously released 2004 film documentary about the life of musician Jeff Buckley, is two-fold. One response is sadness because the film reminds us of what might have been if Buckley hadn’t died in 1997 at age 30 from an accidental drowning. And yet the film is also uplifting because of the timeless quality of Buckley’s music and mesmerizing performances.

The film chronicles Buckley’s early days performing at the Lower East Side café Sin-e, his signing with Columbia and garnering acclaim for the album Grace and culminates with his final stop in Memphis where he was recording Grace‘s follow-up. As the film points out, at a time when alternative rock, with its detachment and self-loathing, was all the rage—Buckley brought back the importance of the personal singer/songwriter. And while dealing with the pressures of fame and a music industry that was usually unkind to serious musicians driven by art, Buckley was never compromising. What comes across very clearly in this poignant documentary is Buckley’s drive and passion, qualities he possessed from the very beginning of his career that never diminished.

Amazing Grace: Jeff Buckley has made the film festival rounds and will be released on DVD on June 2 as part of the special deluxe version of Grace Around The World, a DVD/CD collection of Buckley’s live performances recorded around the time of Grace. The documentary was directed and produced by Nyla Bialek Adams and Laurie Trombley. Microphone Memory Emotion caught up with the filmmakers who spoke about what drew them to producing a documentary about Buckley, the filming and research process and the impact of Buckley’s music.

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