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Beyonce ‘Life Is But a Dream’ Doc: What We Learned About a Diva

Beyonce
HBO

Beyonce‘s ‘Life Is But a Dream’ doc is no vanity project, nor is it a self-indulgent look at the seemingly perfect (from the outside) life of Beyonce. We all know Bey is out of this world, but she showed her humanity in the 90-minute documentary. It was an intimate look at a normally private superstar. Here’s what we learned.

“I am feeling empty because of my relationship with my dad and I am so fragile at this point. I feel like my soul has been tarnished,” she says at the beginning, with no makeup and looking at her computer camera.

She doesn’t care if she doesn’t sell a record. Making this break is necessary for her life. “At some point, you need your support system,” she said. “I needed boundaries and my dad needed boundaries. It’s easy to get confused with this world that’s your job that you live and breath every day, all day, and you don’t know when to turn it off. You need a break. I needed a break. I needed my dad.”

But she didn’t get her dad back right away. “It was hard,” she said. “I had to sacrifice my relationship with my dad. But I had to let go.”

Upon choosing to manage herself, she had to decide if she wanted success at radio, to kiss butts or to make herself happy. She wanted to do R&B and “be gravelly, growl and scream.” She decided to forget about being cool! It was funny seeing Bey go “Aw s—” in the middle of recording a really fast vocal part in one breath. Bey curses?! We were shocked.

She recalls how when she started out in this crazy business, there was no Internet and no pictures of your personal life and day-to-day life splashed all over the web. She hates that people don’t make albums anymore and no one crafts bodies of work, which is spliced with images of her in the studio, creating a body of work. She poses the idea that when jazz great Nina Simone sang, people only cared about her voice, not who she was dating and says that stuff should have no influence on people enjoying the music.

She says “s—” again after a meeting with her label, playing them her record. She struts out of the conference room, saying, “I’m glad it’s over because I am an artist and I’m sensitive about my s—.”

It is clear that Bey likes to tell her story through photography. She is documenting her beautiful, stressful, crazy, famous and normal life through the lens of her camera.

She hid her pregnancy with Blue Ivy, even though she wanted to share it, since she was worried about miscarrying again.

She is always thinking about women. “It’s difficult,” she says. “We need that support.” She learned that from her mother Tina, who ran a hair salon, but was really a therapist, giving advice with a press and curl. “I love my husband, but there is nothing like a conversation with a woman who understands you. I need my sisters,” Bey said.

As for her miscarriage, she said the heartbeat was the most beautiful music she had ever heard. She picked out names and envisioned the child, and was feeling maternal over “the first child with the man that I love.” When she found out that there was no longer a heartbeat, she wrote the saddest song ever, which was a form of therapy. The song plays in the doc, featuring Bey’s a capella voice aching over “you took the life right out of me” and saying “I am longing for your heartbeat.” It was agonizing and painful to listen to.

Bey also said that being polite while doing business doesn’t match. Things are political and she had a new respect for her father and the things that he did as her manager, since pimpin’ ain’t easy.

We see her as a giddy mom-to-be when Blue Ivy kicked her five times in utero. A clip of a speech she gave during Jay-Z‘s birthday in 2006 in shown, where she admits that he taught her how to be a woman and how she is lucky to spend every day of her life with him. A super romantic scene comes when they sing Coldplay‘s ‘Yellow’ to one another. She prays that they stay a team.

The rumors that she was faking her pregnancy are addressed. Given her respect for mothers and the fact that she miscarried, the things people said about seem so much more icky now.

We meet Blue for about 10 seconds, and she gurgles. Adorable!

Bey closes by saying that God lives in her and in all of us. She is clearly a woman of faith.

Next: See Blue Ivy!

Watch Beyonce’s ‘Life Is But a Dream’ Trailer

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