Watch Mahalia

  • TV-PG
  • 2021
  • 1 hr 47 min
  • 7.1  (670)

Mahalia is a biographical drama film that tells the story of Mahalia Jackson, an American gospel singer and civil rights activist who played a significant role in the African American struggle for equality during the mid-twentieth century. The film is directed by Kenny Leon and stars Amira Anderson as the titular character, with Max Boateng and Cassandra Bolinski in supporting roles.

The movie opens with young Mahalia growing up in New Orleans in the early 1920s, where she discovers her talent for singing during church services. Despite facing societal and economic challenges as a Black woman in the segregated South, Mahalia perseveres and becomes a sought-after performer in churches and theaters across the country. As she rises to fame, she meets and collaborates with several prominent musicians of the day, including Duke Ellington and Martin Luther King Jr.

The film is structured as a series of flashbacks, beginning in 1961 when Mahalia is at the height of her career and being courted by record executives in New York City. She is reluctant to sign with a major label because she is committed to using her music to advance the cause of civil rights. Throughout the film, we see Mahalia's journey from her humble beginnings to her transformation into an iconic figure who uses her voice to inspire and uplift her community.

One of the strengths of the movie is its portrayal of Mahalia as a multifaceted and complex character. We see her struggle with personal demons, including a difficult marriage and issues with alcoholism. However, we also see her take a stand for what she believes is right, refusing to perform at segregated venues and putting herself in danger by marching with Dr. King in Selma.

The film is visually stunning, with vibrant colors and dynamic camera movements that capture the energy of Mahalia's music. The costume design is also noteworthy, showcasing the evolution of Mahalia's wardrobe from cotton dresses to elegant gowns befitting of her status as a celebrity.

The acting in the movie is excellent, with Anderson delivering a standout performance as Mahalia. She captures the singer's emotional range, from her powerful stage presence to her vulnerability and inner turmoil. She is supported by a strong cast, including Bolinski as Mahalia's confidante and manager and Boateng as her estranged husband.

Overall, Mahalia is an engaging and inspiring film that provides a rich portrait of a trailblazing figure in American history. It highlights the importance of music as a means of bringing people together and promoting social change. The film is a testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit, and is not to be missed.

Mahalia is a 2021 history movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 47 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1.

Where to Watch Mahalia
Mahalia is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Mahalia for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 47 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (670)