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GLORIA GAYNOR: I WILL SURVIVE

"Finding Abundant Life in the Gospel of Jesus Christ"

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What You Need To Know:

GLORIA GAYNOR: I WILL SURVIVE is a documentary that tells the story of pop singer Gloria Gaynor throughout her five-decade career. She remains the only musician in history to win a disco Grammy Award. Rising to fame, she filled venues throughout the world with her electrifying and entertaining performances that left audiences inspired. Gloria also overcame poverty, substance abuse, abandonment, and domestic abuse. A fall in 1978 has left her in chronic pain. Gloria eventually found abundant life in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She uses her painful walk through life to point other people to her redeemer and savior, Jesus.

Though it suffers from some technical issues, I WILL SURVIVE tells a powerful story with a strong Christian, biblical worldview. Gloria’s strength and tenacity are remarkable. In addition to telling Gloria Gaynor’s story, I WILL SURVIVE discusses people who are inspired by her song “I Will Survive. They include a survivor of the Hitler’s death camps, a sports team, a breast cancer survivor, and, sadly, a homosexual man and feminists at a pro-abortion rally. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children.

Content:

(CC, BBB, PC, Ho, Fe, L, V, S, N, AA, DD, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong Christian, biblical worldview makes references to the salvation and redemption that comes from Jesus Christ, but some examples of people inspired by Gloria Gaynor’s song “I Will Survive” include a survivor of the Hitler’s death camps, a sports team, a breasts cancer survivor, and, sadly, a homosexual man and feminists at a pro-abortion rally;

Foul Language:
A few “s” obscenities;

Violence:
Domestic abuse implied in dialogue, main character suffers a fall and suffers chronic pain;

Sex:
No sex scenes but a homosexual man says he was inspired by the song referenced in the movie’s title;

Nudity:
There’s a photo of a shirtless man, but not sexual in nature;

Alcohol Use:
References to alcohol abuse, but ultimately rebuked;

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No tobacco smoking but there are references to overcoming drug abuse; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Deceit of husband toward wife, and examples of dysfunctional family situations.

More Detail:

GLORIA GAYNOR: I WILL SURVIVE is a documentary about the decades-long career of two-time Grammy-Winning icon, Gloria Gaynor. The story travels through history to give a raw portrait of the famous singer who overcomes poverty, abandonment, abuse, and chronic pain. Gloria eventually finds abundant life in our Lord Jesus Christ and in His Gospel. When the industry tries to shut her down at age 75, she follows her heart to create her first ever gospel album, called TESTIMONY. There is some content about drug and alcohol use, divorce and a dysfunctional family life. Also, I WILL SURVIVE contains references to people inspired by Gloria’s most famous song, including a survivor of the Hitler’s death camps, a sports team, a breasts cancer survivor, and, sadly, a homosexual man and feminists at a pro-abortion rally. and a politically motivated scene which shows support for gay and abortion rights movements. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children.

Gloria Gaynor was born into a poor family in Newark, New Jersey. Her father abandoned the family. However, Gloria grew into a successful singer under the care and guidance of her strong and loving mother.

Early in her career, Gloria was the front singer of a band in New York City nightclubs. She then began singing in clubs up and down the east coast. Under the direction of her new boyfriend turned manager, Linwood Simon, Gloria moves on to become a solo act. She is discovered by Clive Davis. Disco music is the new language that translated into peace, relaxation and freedom in the troubled early seventies. Gloria fit perfectly into the narrative and times. She skyrocketed to the top of the charts, winning a Grammy Award in 1979 for her song “I Will Survive.”

She and her then husband Linwood enjoyed the high life of fame and fortune for a while. However, she describes that time to be dark, and the activities of partying and drugs to be nefarious and demonic.

In the 1980s, a strong backlash against disco music abruptly put Gloria and other disco acts out of business. In the following two decades Gloria, again under the advisement of her then husband/manager, Linwood, she would take her act to Europe. She was very well received, filling venues at every performance. She now claims, though, that moving her to Europe was her ex-husband’s attempt to “get rid of her,” so that he could continue his licentious lifestyle at home.

Gloria eventually returned to New Jersey. At the age of 65, she decides to divorce her allegedly abusive husband, who she claims misguided her steps throughout most of her singing career.

Gloria says when she turned 75, God placed a call on her heart to create a gospel music album. However, no one in the business side of the music industry was interested. She claims no manager would touch her at this point. In true Gloria Gaynor fashion, she found a way. The next few years would bring collaboration with some of the greatest musicians in the industry, including acclaimed lyricist Bart Miller from Mercy Me, famous bassist Willy Weeks, and the killer vocalist Jason Crabb. Her efforts produced such success, the gospel album earned Gloria her second Grammy win, 40 years after her first. This is the kind of thing which dreams are made of; and, God made it happen.

The documentary includes examples of people who were inspired by Gloria’s classic rendition of “I Will Survive.” For example, there are references to a breast cancer survivor, an Auschwitz death camp survivor and a champion sports team. Newscaster Rachel Roberts, the breast cancer survivor says Gloria’s song helped her through the loss of her parents and loss of relationships, because Gloria’s song makes everyone feel like they matter. However, the documentary also includes an example of a homosexual man citing the song as well as feminist groups using the song during a rally for “abortion rights.” As for herself, Gloria thanks God for the gift of the song, because it inspires other people to keep going.

MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children because of the documentary’s miscellaneous negative content.

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Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


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