The Best of the Rest

Amazing Grace

Alan Elliott
Screening time  
09.10. / Friday, 22:00 - 00:00 Ticket

Aretha Franklin was the daughter of a preacher man who honed her stupendous talents in gospel music. In 1972, aged 29 and at her Grammy-winning peak, she recorded a live album at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Director Sydney Pollack, then a talented up-and-comer, was there to document Franklin’s musical homecoming. Amazing Grace would become Franklin’s biggest-selling album, but sound synchronisation problems kept Pollack’s footage in the vault. Then came legal dramas fraught enough to make a film themselves: for her own reasons, Franklin didn’t want the footage shown. After her death in 2018, her family gladly gave permission for audiences to witness something truly transcendent. The restored film puts you right there in the church, getting uplifted with a congregation of family and friends including Franklin’s dad and Mick Jagger from Rolling Stones. And at its centre is the queen of soul, shifting effortlessly from serenity to pure devotion.


Alan Elliott

Alan Elliott, born in 1964, studied composition and orchestration. He is composer, producer and director. He composed, orchestrated and arranged scores for many TV shows and musical acts such as Beck, V.A.S.T., Jamiroquai and Supergrasss. Amazing Grace (2018) is his first film as a director.

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Amazing Grace

2018, 87'

Directed by:
Alan Elliott

Edited by:
Jeff Buchanan

Spike Lee, Alan Elliott, Joe Boyd, Rob Johnson, Chiemi Karasawa, Sabrina V. Owens, Tirrell D. Whittley, Joseph Woolf

Produced by:
Al’s Records and Tapes, 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks, Rampart, Sundial Pictures

Festivals & Awards:

Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards 2019 – KCFCC Award Best Documentary; Image Awards (NAACP) 2019 – Image Award Outstanding Documentary; Berlin International Film Festival 2019; Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2019; Sarajevo Film Festival 2019; Sydney Film Festival 2019; DOC NYC 2019; Palm Springs International Film Festival 2019; New Zealand International Film Festival 2019; San Sebastián International Film Festival 2019; Helsinki International Film Festival 2019; Washington International Film Festival 2019; Miami Film Festival 2019; AFI Fest 2018; Telluride Film Festival 2018


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