Months after her death, Aretha Franklin continues to be remembered for her iconic voice and its captivating effect on listeners, as can be seen in the trailer for an upcoming Aretha Franklin documentary, “Amazing Grace.”
The film chronicles Franklin’s 1972 live recording of the popular hymnal in a solo concert at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in LA.
“Amazing Grace,” “Mary, Don’t You Weep,” and other songs recorded at the two-night gospel concert were eventually compiled into gospel music's biggest-selling live album.
The documentary trailer shows Franklin, then 29, being called up to the pulpit to deliver what has come to be known as one of the most riveting renditions ever.
Before now, we only heard the songs, but seeing footage from the event, it’s no surprise that it earned the accolades it has so far.
The breathtaking film was shot back then by Sydney Pollack but was shelved due to longtime technical issues and legal battles.
“That young lady that we’ve all been waiting to hear,” a man can be heard announcing to the congregation. “She can sing anything, anything! My sister, Miss Aretha Franklin.”
The Queen of Soul then came out in a shimmering white gown and proceeded to transport the church to higher realms with her rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
The footage shows members of the congregation at various times bursting into rapturous applause, weeping, and dancing while Franklin put her incomparable vocals to work.
So iconic was the “Amazing Grace” performance that it was included in one of the several tributes to Franklin at her funeral in Detroit last August. Even now, 47 years later, we dare you to watch this trailer without getting chills.
According to Esquire, the breathtaking film was shot back then by Sydney Pollack but was shelved due to longtime technical issues and legal battles. Producer Alan Elliott acquired the rights in 2007 and following Franklin’s death in August, teamed up with her estate to debut it at the DOC NYC in November.
That premiere earned rave reviews, and the concert movie is now set to be released on April 5 in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles before going to other theaters across the country later this year.
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