You haven’t seen genuine swagger until you’ve watched HBO’s most recent documentary, Beyoncé’s self-directed Life is But a Dream. In the film credits, Beyoncé Knowles is listed as the star, narrator, and only talking head, in addition to being billed as the executive producer, co-director, co-writer and “additional cameras,” referring to her hardcore vlogging. As a loaded cast of one, Beyoncé steals the show with her autobiographical filmography.
As a die-hard Beyoncé fan, I found that the 85-minute compilation of her old home videos, face-to-camera vlogging and performance clips flew by quickly.
While she has sometimes been criticized as a “self interviewer” who doesn’t actually know what makes her life interesting, I found the ability to see Beyoncé’s daily life exhilarating. It truly felt as if a jar of secrets was being unleashed; observing Queen B ‘s day-to-day routines and hearing her personal take on fame and fortune was thrilling and revealed interesting new information about her life.
As she discusses her emancipation from her father in great detail, viewers learn about the aspects of Beyoncés life that truly make her a survivor. Her heartfelt and fierce words of wisdom reflect on life experiences beyond her fame, and tell the story of a woman who was able to achieve success while fighting anxiety and overcoming emotional struggles. The film also features a sensational trove of childhood home videos, as well as more recent family recordings. The documentary’s style allows viewers to live B’s life through the camera, and these scenes reveal that Beyoncé always puts her family’s needs ahead of her career. As her home videos and vlogs make clear, she genuinely puts her love on top for famous husband Jay-Z and their daughter, Blue.
As this unique look into Beyonce’s life story was incredibly inspiring, I would definitely recommend it to any even mildly curious fans. I was personally ecstatic and relieved that Life is but a Dream was a television movie; it definitely would have been a hassle to travel an hour on the TCAT to then pay the astronomical movie ticket price. Unfortunately, without HBO, most students missed its official debut on Feb. 16th at 9 p.m., but it has since made its way online and onto HBO-Go, and if you’re looking for an inspiring story, I strongly recommend it. Overall, thanks to Life is but a Dream’s great music and revealing clips, it would be nearly impossible for anybody not to fall crazy in love with Beyonce’s story.
– Lizzy Rosenberg