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Red carpet interview with documentary producer "Amazing Grace" on Aretha Franklin
Mandi Wright, Detroit Free Press

There were no Hollywood lights, no long celebrity parades, no paparazzi crushes.

But it was a film premiere that made sense – and a lot of heart in his hometown – Monday night, as Aretha Franklin's "Amazing Grace" finally debuted in Detroit before its national release in April.

Hundreds of people have filled the Detroit Film Theater's Detroit Institute of Arts for the occasion, most of them guests of the Franklin family, for a glimpse of the critically acclaimed gospel movie for a long time. There was an extra resonance to the night: Monday would have been the 77th birthday of the singer.

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"If they have never been to church, they will go to church," said the singer's son, Kecalf Franklin. "Looking at the movie, it's easy to forget that it was made in Southern California." I felt like it was in Detroit, it's so close to my home.

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Sabrina Owens, Aretha Franklin's niece, is greeted at the Amazing Grace VIP pre-reception at Detroit's Charles H. Wright Museum on Monday, March 25, 2019. The screening of the film about the Gospel of Aretha Franklin has was projected on what would have been Franklin's 77th birthday. (Photo: Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press)

Before the evening screening, a few hundred guests gathered for an evening at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, where the lively atmosphere contrasted with that of the last notable, Aretha Franklin, gathered here – his public screening in August.

"There was no cloud in the sky when we arrived here today," said Franklin Kecalf. "I thought it was beautiful."

The film's producer, Alan Elliott, professor of music at UCLA, was accompanied by Martha Reeves, Tommy Hearns and many friends of the Franklin family or belonging to his universe, including choreographers, hairdressers and dancers. 39, other hairdressers. .

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