About the Film
With interviews and stories, and scenes from daily life, reunions, gospel concerts, and church services, the film traces the history of the Landis family of Granville County, North Carolina, over the lifetime of its oldest surviving member, 86-year-old Mrs. Bertha M. Landis. Particularly featured are performances by her sons’ gospel quartet The Golden Echoes of such songs as "Troubles of the World," "Going up to Meet Him," and "The Old Rugged Cross," and family and church performances of "Mighty Close to Heaven," Come and Let's Go to that Land," and "There's Union up in Heaven."
This film was released in 1985. It is the first of two documentaries that follow the story of a gifted African American family from the rural South. The sequel "Reunion" (2016) follows the grandchildren into the 21th Century.
Watch a trailer for the new film.
- Lay of the Land
- A Singing Stream: Discussion Guide
- Study Guide: Junior High Level
- Teaching Guide with Excerpt
- Bertha Landis
- Birth of a Film: A Grant in Search of a Subject
- The Emergence of Gospel Quartets: Praising God in the Twentieth Century
- Changing Course
- Observations on Editing
CINE Golden Eagle, Chicago International Film Festival (Bronze Hugo), Kenyon Film Festival, Best Documentary, Black Maria Film Festival (Directors Choice)