Michael Jackson's family and fans have attended the worldwide premiere of his concert documentary, This Is It.
The movie was pieced together from 100 hours of footage shot at rehearsals for the star's ill-fated comeback shows. Jackson's brothers Jermaine, Marlon, Tito and Randy, attended a star-studded screening in Los Angeles.
Simultaneous premieres were held in 18 other cities. Introducing the film, director Kenny Ortega described it as "the last sacred document of our leader and friend".But some fans protested outside the screenings, saying the film covers up Jackson's declining health.
The dedicated fans, who have set up a campaign called This Is Not It, are accusing concert promoter AEG Live of putting too much pressure on the star during the build up to his 50-date run at London's O2 Arena. Jackson, who died on June 25 aged 50, had spent the previous four months rehearsing in Los Angeles.
More than 800,000 tickets had been sold for the concerts, with organisers promising one of the "most expensive and technically advanced" live shows ever. He was just two weeks away from the opening night at the time of his death, which authorities in Los Angeles ruled a homicide.
The Los Angeles premiere took place across the road from the Staples Center, the site of Jackson's rehearsals and, later, his public memorial service. Stars attending the event included Will Smith, Jennifer Lopez, Paris Hilton, Katy Perry, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr.
On the red carpet, Jermaine Jackson stressed that the footage just showed "preparation" for the star's concerts. "We're going to see him going through the motions," he said, "not giving 1,000% because he's making sure everyone else is going to do their part but, at the same time, once he got on that stage, he was going to give them 100,000%"
"Judging by that film, it would have been the best show of all time," Darryn Wade told the BBC. "I just wish I got to see the live concert." Ed Rahmen said the movie proved the O2 concerts would have been "the best thing he had ever done".
"It was like a film on stage. It was better than any of his early stuff. It was Jackson brought to this time and age." Neda Allin added: "You can see he was a bit ill, or he didn't look right, but the movie was brilliant."
Meanwhile, Jackson's close friend Elizabeth Taylor issued her verdict on the film via Twitter, calling it: "The single most brilliant piece of filmmaking I have ever seen". "I wept from pure joy at his God given gift. There will never, ever be the likes of him again," she added.
"We have this piece of film to remind us forever and ever that once there was such a man. God kissed him." This Is It has now been released to cinemas for a limited two-week run.
The first public screening in London began at 0400GMT, with fans queuing through the night to see it. By the weekend, it will be shown in 110 countries, with distributor Sony putting 15,000 prints into circulation.
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