\r\nThe Grace of Gospel\r\nBy Kelly MacConomy\r\nALEXANDRIA, VA - At long last the documentary about the Queen of Soul\u2019s 48-hour live-performance gospel recording, which collected dust in storage for over four decades at Warner Brothers, has been released. The wait has been as interminable as a full-length performance of the namesake hymn, \u201cAmazing Grace.\u201d\r\nIn January 1972, Aretha Franklin, whose celebrity at that point included eleven Number One singles and five Grammy awards, returned to her religious roots. The production crew knew that recording at the New Temple Baptist Church in the Watts section of Los Angeles would be a daunting challenge even with director Sidney Pollack in charge, along with Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts in a front pew.\r\nPollack was reaping the recent success of three Oscars and a Golden Globe for They Shoot Horses Don\u2019t They. Jagger and Watts had sung \u201cSalt of the Earth\u201d on the Beggar\u2019s Banquet album with the Watts Street Gospel Choir in 1968.\r\n\r\nThe film also features the Reverend James Cleveland; Aretha\u2019s father, C.L. Franklin; and gospel legend Clara Ward. Alexander Hamilton doesn\u2019t miss his shot either, as the director of the backup Southern California Community Choir.\r\nPollack was an outstanding film director but not an experienced musical documentarian. There were technical issues with sound syncing that even the most gifted editors of the time couldn\u2019t reconcile, and the film was shelved. (The album sold two million copies.)\r\nWhen Sydney Pollack died in 2008, producer Alan Elliott assumed control of the project. He mortgaged his house to buy the footage from Warner Brothers and, using advanced sound technology, transformed the disjointed recording and film imaging into a hand-clapping symphony of gospel glory.\r\n\r\nBut release was further delayed by objections from the Queen herself. Perfection is the prerogative of great artistry. Still, a lady always knows when it is time to leave. Three months after her passing this past August, her estate green-lighted Amazing Grace.\r\nThe film was not available for screening until the world premiere on November 12, 2018. It was distributed in limited release this April, 47 years after the Queen of Soul\u2019s inspirational two-day performance.\r\nAmazing Grace is not only quintessential Aretha. It is seminal film making, reminiscent of the Judy Garland\/James Mason version of A Star is Born. It celebrates a voice that arouses the soul and calls to God with all the fanfare of trumpeting angels. Amazing Grace is captivating. Organic and honest. Gospel truth. You will be riveted to the screen. At Z Movies gives it 100 percent Glory Hallelujah!