Decades after filming, Aretha Franklin documentary finally set for release

Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul, died in August after battling with pancreatic cancer, leaving behind a long catalogue of timeless music, dating as far back as the 1960s.

Now, a documentary filmed in 1972 by Oscar-winning director, Sydney Pollack, will finally be released.

Titled ‘Amazing Grace’, the documentary was supposed to accompany Franklin’s 1972 gospel album of the same name, which is the highest selling gospel album of all time.

The documentary follows Franklin, then 30, for over two nights as she performed at a church concert in Los Angeles. Its release was delayed for 46 years by technical issues arising from a mistake made during the film’s shooting.

In 2007, the movie was digitally restored. It was then set to premiere at the Toronto and Telluride film festivals in 2015 but the late Franklin’s lawyer’s blocked it through a court injunction, even though Franklin liked the documentary.

Sabrina Owens, niece and executor of Aretha Franklin’s estate, says the film captures “the heart and soul of Aretha Franklin”.

“This film is authentic and is my aunt at her core. She was a daughter of the church, she loved gospel music, and she always incorporated some form of sacred music in her concerts,” she said.

The documentary, set to be released on Monday, has already been entered for an Oscar and is seen as a high contender for the award in 2019.

In her lifetime, Franklin won 18 Grammys and had 17 Top Ten US chart hits.

Watch the trailer here:

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