46 years after it was filmed, the late Aretha Franklin's live videotaped concert "Amazing Grace" will finally be released. It will premiere Monday at the DOC NYC festival in New York. The film, largely shot by Sydney Pollack, captures Franklin's performance at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles' Watts neighborhood in January 1972.
According to Variety, the singer's estate and the film's producer, Alan Elliott, reached an agreement to release the film, which has long been delayed.
"In recent weeks, Alan presented the film to the family at the African American Museum here, and we absolutely love it," Franklin's niece Sabrina Owens told Variety."We can see Alan's passion for the movie, and we are just as passionate about it. It's in a very pure environment, very moving and inspirational, and it's an opportunity for those individuals who had not experienced her in a gospel context to see how diverse her music is. We are so excited to be a part of this."
The music was released as a double live album, but the film was held because Pollack failed to sync the sound, which made it difficult to edit.Elliott acquired the rights to the film from Pollack in 2007, and Pollack died the following year.In 2011 Franklin sued to stop the film's release and argued she had only given permission to Pollack to release it.
Franklin died at her home on August 16, 2018, aged 76.