I told you when this started it would end badly. “Amazing Grace,” the 1972 documentary about Aretha Franklin, has been removed from the Toronto Film Festival. A court order took it out of Telluride. It was cancelled by the Chicago Film Festival. And now it’s over at TIFF.
There are legal and moral reasons abounding here. Aretha’s lawyers have a 2011 settlement signed by Allan Elliot in which he agreed not to release “Amazing Grace” without Franklin’s permission. Then Elliot went around and claimed he found a contract Franklin signed with Warner Music forty years ago. He just wants to release this movie, and Franklin be damned.
But the Colorado judge stopped it. I would guess the legal fees involved in fighting in Toronto are too much. Also, what judge will allow this to go forward without Aretha’s permission?
There’s nothing salacious in the movie. It’s a beautiful work that one day everyone will see. But when Aretha wants us to see it.