Stay Prayed Up
Directed by D. L. Anderson and Matt Durning
Starring Lena Mae Perry
The Branchettes, a gospel group from rural North Carolina is still going strong after thirty years. You need to believe in something, and gospel music is as good as and maybe better than anything else. Decades ago Mrs. Perry began singing in church choirs and county fairs and wherever she could get a chance to sing about her favorite passion, Jesus. Today she’s an institution, and this loving documentary follows her to a global gospel music contest.
Leader Lena Mae Perry still inspires people, and her backup performers have a unique style and rhythms that make them worth clapping for. She’s also a better than decent cook and very entertaining to chat with. She’s surrounded by an eclectic group of musicians, and they know exactly what they’re aiming for: salvation, family, and community. We discover the group’s ins and outs, passions and poisons, and end up feeling much better about ourselves and our place in the universe.
This film was presented as part of the 2022 Florida Film Festival.