Aretha Franklin’s Documentary Film Amazing Grace could be released after nearly 50 years

One of Aretha Franklin‘s most iconic performances unseen by millions of fans could now finally be released after nearly 50 years of gathering dust.

Amazing Grace is a documentary movie which features Franklin singing two gospel concerts at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles back in 1972.

The movie was filmed by Oscar winning director, Sydney Pollack and is said, by the small number of people who have seen it, to be one of the greatest concert movies of all time, an Oscar contender if it were to be shown publicly. One person who has seen it called it “jaw dropping”.

A close person to the family told The Telegraph: “The movie will come out. It seems the family is interested in it coming out.” Franklin has been in a long legal battle over the movie, several times close to allowing it’s release only to change her mind.

The film was due to be shown at the Telluride Film Festival in 2015 but Franklin got a last minute injunction which also blocked it at the Toronto Film Festival the same year. Franklin’s objections to the release of a film documenting her finest hour were never clear, but appeared to be at least partly to do with money.

Alan Elliott, a UCLA music lecturer, in a statement said he was hopeful fans would be able to see it soon and that the singer herself really liked the movie.

“Ms Franklin said ‘I love the film’. Unfortunately for all of us, she passed before we could share that love.
“Amazing Grace is a testament to the timelessness of Ms Franklin’s devotion to music and God. Her artistry, her genius and her spirit are present in every note and every frame of the film. We look forward to sharing the film with the world soon.”

Franklin’s funeral will hold on August 31 in her home city Detroit. Her body will be laid to rest at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit at the Greater Grace Temple nearby with attendance at the service limited to family and friends. Her body will be entombed at her family grave site alongside the remains of her father, the Reverend C.L. Franklin, her brother, Cecil Franklin, and sisters Carolyn and Erma Franklin.

A two-day public viewing of her body will hold on August 28 & 29 at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, according to the schedule. Spokesperson for the family Gwendolyn Quinn, said she believed that the viewing would be open-casket but that those arrangements had not yet been finalised.

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