Thirty years after Freddie died (in November 1991) from complications of AIDS, Freddie Mercury: The Final Act movingly captures the last years of his life.
The film follows the story from Freddie’s last concert to the tribute concert itself which took place on April 20th 1992.
The documentary features new interviews with many of those who were closest to him, including Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor, Freddie’s sister Kashmira Bulsara, his friends Anita Dobson and David Wigg and his PA, Peter Freestone.
We also hear from those who performed at the epic gig, including Gary Cherone (Extreme), Roger Daltrey (The Who), Joe Elliott (Def Leppard), Lisa Stansfield, and Paul Young, as well as the concert’s promoter, Harvey Goldsmith.
The film also hears from those who saw the impact of HIV/AIDS first hand, either as medical practitioners, survivors, or human rights campaigners, including Peter Tatchell. It starts in 1986, as Queen’s Magic tour reaches its awesome climax at Knebworth Stadium in Hertfordshire and Freddie Mercury proves himself to be one of the greatest rock performers that the world has known.
Speaking in the programme, Brian May says: “Freddie opened up his heart and gave it everything he had. He was a musician through and through and through. He lived for his music. He loved his music, and he was proud of himself as a musician above everything else.”
Freddie Mercury: The Final Act is a story about friendship, love and a fight against prejudice – shown by the way in which Freddie’s friends created a joyful celebration of his life, which not only burnished his reputation as one of the world’s great musical performers, but which also helped change social attitudes.
James Rogan, Director, said: “Making Freddie Mercury: The Final Act has been an extraordinary journey into the final chapter of one of rock music's greatest icons. Working with Queen and getting to see behind-the-scenes of some of their greatest performances and the legendary Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert was a rare privilege.
Equally important was speaking to the people who had lived through the eye of the storm of the global pandemic of HIV/AIDS, with all its resonances with COVID today. Freddie's death and the Tribute that Queen organised for him helped to change global awareness of this terrible disease at a critical time.”
To accompany Freddie: The Final Act, BBC Two will also show Queen at the BBC in November. Queen at the BBC is a one-hour special, featuring some of the greatest musical moments from Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon that have been shown on the BBC over the years.