In the new documentary George Michael Freedom Uncut co-directed by the titular late, great musician and his producing and songwriting partner and childhood friend David Austin, we get to hear Michael tell his story and in his own words. Specifically, just in time for Pride, GLAAD is premiering a new clip from the documentary where we hear Michael talk about his first great love Anselmo Feleppa.
It goes without saying that George Michael is a pop star, icon and cultural legend when it comes to the LGBTQIA+ community and beyond. However, when he came out, it felt like the media had more control over his narrative than he did.
The film, which was in progress before Michael’s death, dives deep into his career, personal life and controversies. Narrated by Michael, the film focuses on his post-“Faith” era leading up to, during and after the making of Michael’s “Listen Without Prejudice: Vol 1” album in 1990. It was during this time, he was able to break ground and pave the way for others.
GLAAD had the opportunity to talk to Austin about the film and his relationship with Michael. When it came to Feleppa, Austin points out how this was a very pivotal time for Michael and how it changed the trajectory of his career.
“He had other relationships, but this was really his first love,” Austin told GLAAD. He continued to say that as Michael talked about him in the film, he would get very emotional. At one point, he breaks down.
Austin added, “Everybody loved Anselmo. It was just a really wonderful thing to see George happy.”
Unfortunately, Feleppa passed away from an HIV-related illness, but as Austin said, he was happy that Michael found someone he loved that loved him back. “That relationship with Anselmo was the first time George had found real love… and knowing that Anselmo was going to pass away, he knew that Anselmo loved him more than life itself.”
That said, Austin explained that there would have never been an Older album without Feleppa.. “Older is an album about loss, grieving, recovery and hope and the making of that album was George’s journey — his grieving.”
“Without having loved Anselmo the way he loved him and having lost Anselmo, without feeling that kind of pain he would never have been able to write that kind of album,” he continued. “In many ways in the stars it was meant to be for him.”
Freedom Uncut is exactly what it sounds like – a real look at Michael’s life. He reveals openly and honestly the two distinct sides of his life: his very public music career and his private personal life that cameras never truly saw. The docu also features numerous icons such as Stevie Wonder, Sir Elton John, Nile Rogers, Mary J. Blige, Tony Bennett, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, and more.
Michael was heavily involved and dedicated in the making of the film and dedicated to the making of this documentary before his tragic passing in 2016.
Austin points out that Michael made the film the way he wanted to make it. “I think he would be really delighted with it,” said Austin. “When people watch this film, they will step away realizing what an incredible body of work George had. It’s a big reminder. George worked with Stevie, Mary J, Elton John, Queen, Aretha, Ray Charles, Whitney, McCartney…it’s such an honest film. It’s so George. He talks about everything.”
The film George Michael Freedom UNCUT is produced by Big Geoff Overseas Limited in conjunction with Sony Music Entertainment and distributed theatrically worldwide by Trafalgar Releasing.
George Michael Freedom Uncut will be released in theaters worldwide as a global cinema event on Wednesday, June 22. Find your closest theater and book tickets at Georgemichaelfreedomuncut.com.
In celebration of George Michael’s iconic album Older, Sony Music will release a deluxe, limited-edition box set in July. The set will also be available in digital/CD/2LP formats. Pre-order here: https://georgemichael.lnk.to/Older