Taylor Swift’s Sundance documentary uncovers career

By Camden Mondeaux on January 25, 2020
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 23: Taylor Swift performs during the TIME 100 Gala 2019 Dinner at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 23, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME)

By: Cami Mondeaux

“Miss Americana” — a Netflix documentary on the life and career of pop singer Taylor Swift — premiered Thursday at the Sundance Film Festival.

The documentary, directed by Lana Wilson, was one of the most-awaited films of the year. It depicts the evolution of the once-country singer into the pop icon she is today.

Taylor has been known to be a bit more of a private person, keeping much of her adult life out of the public eye. Being a star since she was a child, she’s had to learn how to adapt to this kind of lifestyle.

But this documentary was completely different, pulling back the curtains on all she has gone through during her career.

The singer dove into her experiences dealing with a past eating disorder, her battle on whether to speak out on political topics and her sexual assault court case in 2017 that she says was a turning point in her life.

The documentary is set to air on Netflix Jan. 31 and comes across as a “coming of age” film. It follows Taylor from when she was a young girl, setting off on a huge career, as she struggles to find her voice in the industry.

The film captures her personal evolution.

“It’s time to take the masking tape off my mouth, like, forever,” she says in the documentary.

Taylor was at the Sundance premiere, watching the film alongside the audience. She followed the showing with a Q&A.

One of the hardest aspects of her career that she touches upon in the film is how she approaches talking about political topics in the public eye. Often, her family advises against it because of the potential backlash.

In fact, after Taylor posted on Instagram urging young voters to use their right and opposing Marsha Blackburn, President Trump took to Twitter to note how much less he enjoys her music now.

Taylor told the crowd that she grew more political after winning her sexual assault case against a DJ she said groped her during a meet-and-greet before a concert.

“It was a really horrible experience to have,” Taylor said. “I had all the privilege in the world, financial support and the ability to pay for a brilliant lawyer. I won that trial but without all that, I don’t know what would have happened. It taught me so much.”

She also touches on her struggle with body image, going over the expectations set on her in the industry and her battle with a past eating disorder.

Much of the documentary touched on the singer’s career and her song-writing process — which she said she was nervous to share. But after the filmmaker earned her trust, Taylor shared it in her documentary.

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