Singer, actress and new mom Beyonce Knowles leads an amazing life that seems such a dream, and lucky for us she captured a piece of it for us on film. Beyonce’s anticipated documentary, Life is But a Dream, debuted in February of 2013 on HBO and is a “Beyonce Knowles Film,” meaning it was a personal project.
In fact a lot of the actual filming was done by Beyonce on her computer or Smartphone camera. The documentary is divided into 3 main sections: First, the firing of Beyonce’s father as manager and Beyonce taking over as her own manager; second, Beyonce’s practicing and performing of Run the World (Girls) for the 2012 Billboard Music Awards and the developing of her album, 4, from which that song is from; third, Beyonce’s pregnancy and the birth of her daughter, Blue Ivy Carter.
Beyonce begins her documentary with the goal of gaining independence – a goal she says is larger than her record and her career. She fires her father as her manager because she explains she needs her support system and time with her family, not the constant reminder of performing and touring. Although Beyonce spends a lot of time just talking and rehashing her decision to fire her father, it seems to me that she is moving in the right direction. She seems to feel more in control and balanced as her own manager even though it was a difficult thing for her to do. Her father has been a part of her life, videotaping, and teaching Beyonce about music since she was a little gurl. But now she has to grow up and answer the question of what she wants as her own manager.
Beyonce begins to focus on creating her new album, 4, declaring that she wants her album to be honest, sad and passionate. She wants to do unique things this time around, but she believes the internet and media often interfere with how the listener takes in her music. She does not believe that people should judge a musician on how they are perceived in everyday life. Her album, which is much more personal than before, allows Beyonce to open up and show emotions she wasn’t able to release in the past.
The documentary highlights Beyonce and her crew practicing Run the World (Girls) for the Billboard Music Awards. She admits this song is putting her stamp on her existence just as Independent Woman or Survivor were for her when she was in Destiny’s Child. This song is really important to Beyonce, because she says she really cares about women and what they want. She believes women have to work much harder to take the lead and define who they are, and that is what the song is all about.
A focus in this documentary is Beyonce’s pregnancy and how she handles it during the Billboard music awards when her belly is beginning to show. She thanks God that “life is but a dream,” that she has everything she could possibly want, but she also that she has to deal with hiding the baby from the public eye. She explains that people believe celebrities have perfect lives and that makes painful experiences more difficult – such as the fact that she had a miscarriage 2 years ago.
Giving birth is one of Beyonce’s biggest fears. She tells herself that God made her body to give birth to a baby, so she just has to let it be. Blue’s birth turns out to be one of the most beautiful experiences of Beyonce’s life, and she articulates that this baby was born out of conflict and struggle that had to be settled – the firing of her father and the creation and performing of her new album. God gave her the chance to exist in the miracle of birth and she is playing a part in a much greater show than her performances on stage, the greatest show on earth – life.
Beyonce believes that everything in life is there for a reason, but that life is just a puzzle. The events of life become connected and eventually people end up where they are supposed to be, in the right place. Beyonce is very much able to see the simple truths in life. Sometimes these are vital ones. such as how women need to define themselves in this world, the journey of becoming an independent woman and the scary yet beautiful experience of having a baby.