The documentary follows the story leading up to a never before seen 1972 church concert with Franklin as the main act. The Queen of Soul took the stage at the New Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles and literally brought the house to salvation by the looks of things. Franklin who was 29 at the time, was riding high on her solo career, propelled by the effortless of her iconic voice.
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“She can sing anything, anything! My sister, Aretha Franklin,” the presenter says as Franklin walks out onto the carpet wearing a glistening white full beaded gown and a tightly coiffed afro.
Franklin’s performance of the popular hymnal was part of a series of recordings on the same day, including “Mary, Don’t You Weep” and “Climbing Higher Mountains.” The songs from the two-night show were compiled into an album and remains the best-selling live gospel album of all time, according to Esquire.
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The footage, directed by Directed by Sydney Pollack and compiled by Alan Elliot, will be finally be released after almost 50 years of mounting technical and legal issues. It first premiered to rave reviews at the DOC NYC festival in 2018, following Franklin’s death in August.
The movie hits select theaters on April 5, 2019.
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