GLORIA GAYNOR: I WILL SURVIVE (Tribeca 2023) – Review by Leslie Combemale

From just hearing the first 7 words, “First I was afraid. I was petrified”, almost everyone knows what comes next, regardless of age or musical taste, and many know the whole song by heart. The song, I Will Survive, won the one and only Grammy Award for Best Disco Recording in 1980. It made singer Gloria Gaynor, who had been trying to make it as a performer since the 1960s, an international star overnight. The new documentary from producer/director Betsy Schechter Gloria Gaynor: I Will Survive is a fairly straight-ahead bio-doc, and looks back on that stardom and what it took to get there, but centers Gaynor’s story on more recent challenges and triumphs, making it more compelling to watch than what casual viewers might expect.

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GLORIA GAYNOR: I WILL SURVIVE (Tribeca 2023) – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Gloria Gaynor became synonymous with an anthem of independence, sass, guts, and faith, but it wasn’t until her sixties that she learned what it really meant to survive—and thrive. This and other heartfelt revelations shimmer through Gloria Gaynor: I Will Survive, an affectionate and engrossing documentary filled with confessional interviews, historical videos, and intimate footage of disco’s onetime queen recording her first gospel album.

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DISCO – TIFF19 Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

While it’s far too easy to get swept up in the big name, red carpet glitz of a festival the scale of the Toronto International Film Festival, the real treasures are often tucked away beyond the limelight. As with last year, the Festival’s Discovery program whose mission is to identify and champion “directors to watch” as “the future of world cinema” in 2019 again provided a home for some of the festival’s most exciting movies.

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