“I always struggle with how much to re- veal about myself,” says Beyonce Knowles, the 31 year old singer. Her confession is ironic, as she sits across from an inter- viewer with several cameras and lights fo- cused on her. In her self-produced, self-di- rected documentary, Life is But a Dream, the $300 million dollar songstress reveals all, including the dismissal of her father as manager, the recording of her multi-platinum album 4, and the pregnancy and birth of her daughter Blue Ivy.
You don’t have to be a Beyonce fan to ap- preciate Dream; after all, it is a documen- tary that is more about human emotion than her career. The first ten minutes of the film juxtaposes her describing the break- down of her father-daughter relationship with footage of the two just a few years earlier cuddling in a photobooth taking “gangsta” pictures. When the interviewer asks her whether or not the relationship with Matthew Knowles is on its way to repair, the singer says solemnly and matter- of-factly: “No.”
But Knowles’ father did teach her one valuable lesson: how to conduct business. The documentary shows just how invest- ed and involved the singer is in the pro- duction of her albums and concerts. She proudly calls herself a “businesswoman”, and adds that her father taught her, “You can’t be professional and polite.”
But there are plenty of bright spots. Touching moments include Sean Carter (aka Jay-Z) croaking Coldplay’s “Yellow” to her – he should stick to rapping – and a particularly powerful speech where Knowles tells Carter, “You taught me how to be a woman. How to be a better artist, and a better person.”
Life is But a Dream is more than shame- less pedestal placing of Beyonce. It’s in- sight about how fame, fortune, and suc- cess don’t take away from humanity – it just adds to it.