You’d have to be a complete numbskull to make Gram Parsons’ life anything less than compelling. Fortunately, Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel, directed with empathy and intelligence by Gandulf Hennig, creates a well-rounded and fascinating portrait of Parsons’ brief stint on planet Earth using not much more than a bunch of talking heads. Hennig deserves credit for getting the right heads to do the talking.
Emmylou Harris, Chris Hillman, Dwight Yokum, Peter Buck, Keith Richards, Phil Kaufman, Bernie Leadon, Gretchen Parsons Carpenter, Diane Parsons, Polly Parsons, James Burton and others share their stories and insights about one of the pioneers of country-rock. The Grievous Angel didn’t live long but his presence looms large in the lives of generations of musicians seeking the real, true, twang in the heart of American music.
This is a very fine documentary.