5 min read
by Kelsey Duchesne | April 21, 2016
Okay, so---a trailer came out on Monday for a documentary called Welcome to My Life__. This documentary is about the success, struggle and comeback of singer Chris Brown. Yes, you read that correctly, and yes, you have every right to be confused.
The film is marketed as follows: a young musical prodigy/protagonist goes through some obstacles (while never outright stating that it was a self-created obstacle of physically and emotionally harming his then-girlfriend, pop star Rihanna), and how he subsequently declined in popularity. The trailer poses the film to be a story of resilience and perseverance, and concludes with a daunting quote from Brown: “If there was ever a doubt in your mind that Chris Brown was done, that he was finished- I wouldn’t bet on it.” Chilling, but not for the reason he’s hoping for.
If you are like me and have absolutely no interest in a film that sympathizes with Chris Brown, check out a few of these documentaries instead. :)
Amy- Amy takes us through the teenage years and ultimate success of the talented singer and songwriter, Amy Winehouse. There is intimate footage of Winehouse as she begins her career, including early performances that were dominated by her powerful lyrics and strikingly beautiful voice. The documentary is honest, revealing, and reminds us all what we have lost.
Life Is But A Dream__- This HBO documentary follows the very private life of our royal Queen B. Beyoncé shares her personal and professional life on her own terms. She reminds us that perfection is a smoke mirror, but hard word, talent, and passion is incredibly real. (There is also a great scene where she sings Yellow by Coldplay by Jay Z, which is important to me.)
Also, can anyone tell us what Lemonade is because inquiring minds NEED TO KNOW!
A Piece of Work- Joan Rivers was more than a sassy commentator on the red carpet. Her documentary takes us through the hilarious and painful past of Joan, and why she continued to work into her 80’s. Rivers was a pioneer comedian and paved the way for female comedians to be raunchy and powerful and forget what the dudes think.
What Happened, Miss Simone? - This Academy Award nominated film tells the story of iconic singer/songwriter Nina Simone, and includes interviews of her daughter, Lisa Celeste Stroud, and close family members and friends.
He Named Me Malala- Nobel Peace Prize recipient and activist Malala Yousafzai is documented by filmmaker Davis Guggenheim. The film not only shows Malalas' current life, but provides a colorful look into her childhood, what inspired her to become an activist, and how she overcame a violent and almost fatal attack with strength and determination. This is a story of perseverance and a hint at all the good things to come.
Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present- Artist Marina Abramovic gives us a look into her daily life as she prepares for her retrospective show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. This documentary captures the emotion and bravery that makes up her work, and the show itself is incredibly moving and powerful.
Searching for Sugarman__- In the 1990’s, two fans named Stephen “Sugar” Segerman and Craig Bartholomew investigate the rumored death of American musician Sixto Rodriguez. Directed by the late Malik Bendjelloul, this film highlights Rodriguez’s popular South African and abysmal American career.
Shut Up and Sing- In 2003 at their show in London, The Dixie Chicks said that they did not want the Iraq War, and almost lost their entire career due to disagreeing fans. This documentary shows their struggle for continued success after making their opinions public, and the power of free speech.
Everything is Copy- Jacob Bernstein directs this documentary about his late mother Nora Ephron. Ephron was a reporter, screenwriter and director, and this film celebrates her talents and beautiful imperfections. If you want to know how absolutely perfect this documentary is, please read my *totally unbiased* (yeah, right) review of this beautiful film. :)
by Kelsey Duchesne