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article imageReview: ‘Beyoncé — Life Is But a Dream’ Special

By Alexander Baron     Mar 29, 2013 in Entertainment
Beyoncé Knowles needs no introduction, and in this documentary, released last month, she tells her own story in her own words.
And, we are warned in advance, with very strong language, (though largely not from her). That may not seem very ladylike, but she is married to a rapper, and unlike a certain Rihanna, she has better taste in men. Not that you could imagine anyone slapping this girl about, much less blacking her eye. Beyoncé: Life Is But a Dream is currently on BBC iplayer for those who can receive it, but was released last month in her native America; It was co-directed by Ed Burke and Ilan Y. Benatar, who one suspects were there only for technical reasons, because clearly she did the lion's share of the actual directing.
For those who don't know, Beyoncé - as Mrs Knowles-Carter likes to be known - shot to fame as one third of Destiny's Child, one of those manufactured girl "groups" we have seen so much of since The Supremes (for those of a certain vintage). Tiring with that or sensing she could rise to genuinely greater heights on her own, she ditched this outfit and launched a solo career. From early on in this video it is clear she has already reached level 7 on Maslow's extended hierarchy of needs.
When she decided to strike out on her own she said she chose honesty over cool. Another observation she made - about contemporary music rather than herself - is that people don't make albums anymore, and nobody listens to a body of work. Gurl, you were born too late to see albums rule the world, but there is an easy solution: nostalgia. It is clear though that Miss Knowles is the kind of person who never chooses easy when she can accept a challenge.
This is a rather off-beat documentary - like the lady herself - and was obviously recorded over a period of time; it includes archive footage from her childhood. She talks candidly about her miscarriage - which she says was the most painful experience of her life - and much more. For all her talk though about women taking over from men and her tough business exterior, one gets the impression that abortion on demand is one woman's right this girl would never entertain.
Having said that, husband Shawn Carter alias rapper Jay-Z was strangely silent throughout the hour and a half. Hmm.
More about Beyonce Knowles, destiny's child, Shawn Carter, Jay z
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