The entire world prepared themselves for the worst outcome when it was announced that Aretha Franklin was hospitalized during her struggle with pancreatic cancer. On Aug. 16, when Aretha finally lost the battle with cancer, the world came to a standstill. At 76 years, The Queen of Soul was officially called home. Now, with Aretha Franklin's death still visceral on a global level, the long-awaited concert film documentary, Amazing Grace capturing the sessions for her 1972 live album titled by the same name will be shown on the silver screen for the first time ever at the 2018 DOC NYC Film Festival. The showing begins Nov. 12 at SVA Theater in New York, NY.
The documentary directed by the now deceased Sydney Pollack (c.2008) vividly captures a young Aretha Franklin recording gospel classics like "Precious Memories" and "Give Yourself to Jesus" at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles, CA. Now, with the release of the documentary's first official trailer, Franklin can be heard emitting vocal passion in the form of the hit records "Mary, Don't You Weep" and "How I Got Over." This particular documentary will not follow the format of today's documentary methods riddled with jarring jumpcuts to modern-day interviews. The film will play straight through and provide viewers with an uninterrupted sequence of Franklin's recording process in its most natural form.
Hopefully, as time moves forward, more footage and films are produced about The Queen of Soul. Franklin's story is a necessity to be delivered and remembered not only for lovers of her musical talent but for society in general to recognize a woman overcoming adversity in every sense of the word. At the tender age of 12-years-old, Franklin had her first child only to have her second just two years later. To this very day, there is confusion as to who fathered the two children causing rumors to swirl that it could have possibly been her very own father, the famed Detroit minister, C.L. Franklin or her childhood school friend Donald Burke. Later in life, Franklin struggled with domestic abuse, drug abuse, insecurities, and alcoholism only to overcome all of these ailments and become one of the most powerful voices in American music history.
Aretha Franklin was a non-conformist in every sense of the word. She didn't allow herself to be taken advantage of and was paid upfront for all of her performances and even developed a habit of taking her purse on stage with her to make sure her funds were properly accounted for. Franklin also was able to successfully raise her family and give back to her hometown of Detroit, MI in her later years. Aretha's musical opinion became unwritten law in the music industry. With her voice being the catalyst for songstresses everywhere; if she even hinted her admiration for another singer it was considered an honor and a privilege.
With a nearly impossible set of circumstances to derail her from her success, it is only right that she be recognized as one of the most captivating and powerful voices of her generation and many more to come. Aretha Franklin is the embodiment of women empowerment and perseverance and at the end of the day, she earned her 'respect.'
For those of you in the New York area, don't miss out on the opportunity to watch the rawness of Franklin's musical genius in the documentary, Amazing Grace, directed by none other than Sydney Pollack at this year's DOC NYC Film Festival on Nov. 12 at 6:45 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. EST. Check out the trailer below and get your tickets to the event, here.