Seen : : Amazing Grace NZIFF 2019

"As you look soul square in the eyes; let it fulfil you and embrace you all at once; a chance to witness one of the most glorious voices to grace this earth."

In 1972, Aretha Franklin; recently crowned the queen of soul and off the back of a number of top hit albums; returned to her roots and decided to record a gospel album with Reverend James Cleveland and the Southern California Community Choir at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Whilst never emotionally leaving the church, artistically this took her back to her childhood roots, travelling with her father Reverend Clarence Franklin, singing gospel. It was no surprise when the album immediately became the greatest selling gospel album of all time.

This film follows the two day recording of the album, through the eyes of Sydney Pollack. Unfortunately, due to technological restrictions the film was never released. Now brought back into the world, you owe it to yourself to get along at see for yourself the true unadulterated power of Aretha Franklin. As Justin Chang of the LA Times wrote; "Aretha Franklin didn't transcend the gospel or gospel music; as first her album and now this marvelous documentary remind us, she did more than most to fulfill its potential for truth and beauty, devotion and art."

Become privy to one of the most incredible performances of gospel we might ever be audience to. Aretha fills the room with an elegance that requires no speech nor introduction, no tome nor timbre. This is a unique movie going experience that can only be met with admiration. As you look soul square in the eyes; let it fulfil you and embrace you all at once; a chance to witness one of the most glorious voices to grace this earth. A tragic loss in 2018, Franklin will forever live on as the queen of soul - and this honest and open performance is a chance to; with soft tones and a full heart; appreciate one of the greatest to ever utter a chord.

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