There is no one in the music world today who is more divisive than Taylor Swift. She is definitely a love her or hate her kind of gal. As big a star as she is we did not know a ton about her. Other than the image in her videos and what the tabloids wrote about her love life. The young woman herself played it quite close to the chest. That is until director Lana Wilson, an Emmy winner and Spirit nominated director from New York, came into Taylor’s picture. Those two together set about telling Taylor’s story…in her own words.
While the Netflix documentary does delve into her origin story. Some tidbits about Taylor on the way up. The who, when and why of how she came to the music industry. Where the focus truly is on a period in her life in which she is on the cusp of change. Big changes. A time in which she accepts the mantle and burden of being more than a pop star.
Taylor Swift shows how she in her late 20s has found her voice. The power of what she thinks and believes in. That she wants her fans to vote. That she fully supports the LGBTQ+ community. That as a woman in the music industry she calls out the sexism involved in the industry. We now know what she thinks and the things she believes in.
More than that she comes into our own. She has power. The power of millions of fans. Not willing to keep quiet anymore. Not willing to allow the men in the industry to tell her what to say and what not to say anymore. She is not afraid of pissing people off or losing fans over saying what she believes in. A woman to be feared. Powerful and not afraid.
Many a documentary have been made about musicians. So when another one comes out many just expect the same old same old. While there are plenty of formulaic moments here, what is the docs’ strength is the moment when the curtain is pulled down. When we actually get to see the person. Not just the celebrity or performer.
The documentary also manages to make Taylor Swift a real person. One who gets mad and sad (when her mother is diagnosed with cancer) as well as happy. We see the pressure exerted on public figures. How it is not all glamour.
We see a different perspective here. Her words and her perspective.