We have seen documentaries illustrating the lives of various famous artists — Katy Perry, One Direction and Amy Winehouse, to name a few. We were given different, more intimate perspectives on these famous icons that are constantly living behind their on-stage personas.
Another documentary is in the works, and this time, it is featuring internationally known singer and songwriter Rihanna.
Rihanna leads quite a public life. From her music videos to paparazzi photos, the world gets to see her through various angles and lenses. We see @badgalriri, the self-promoting artist who is always jetting from one location to the next. We see Rihanna, the fierce and charismatic performer who is able to capture the eyes of an entire stadium. How often is it, however, that we are able to see this artist as her true, raw self?
Luckily, for curious fans around the world, they will be given insider access to Rihanna’s life. “Friday Night Lights” director Peter Berg has just launched a production company called Film 45, which treats “every project as a passion project,” according to the website. With the motto “Real. Human. Stories.,” Film 45 aims to “reveal elements of the human experience, and … tear down the facades.” Berg hopes to focus on non-scripted projects as a means of staying true to the company’s mission of tearing down such facades.
“Rihanna” will be a theatrical feature on Rihanna’s life as she “navigates life as an artist, businesswoman, and humanitarian, while contending with the inherent pressure of artistic freedom,” wrote Billboard’s Gil Kaufman.
This documentary is a modern take on a Bob Dylan documentary made in 1967. “Rihanna” will take stylistic elements from “Don’t Look Back,” the iconic Bob Dylan documentary made by D.A. Pennebaker. Berg was the director of 2012 film “Battleship,” in which Rihanna played the character of Raikes alongside former “Friday Night Lights” star Taylor Kitsch. Berg decided to pursue this theatrical documentary because he wanted to tell the story of “a young artist at the top of her professional field.” He told Billboard that the documentary would be more of a “character study than a music film.”
While I am not a die-hard Rihanna fan, I am fairly familiar with her work. Her songs have accompanied me through my middle school dance days all the way up until the present day when I need an anthem for my mid-week slump. From my limited knowledge of her, I view her as someone fierce, with drive and a vague coldness that is necessary to survive in the industry.
Celebrities are people too, and I think the rest of the world often forgets that. It is so easy to simplify people down into their clothes — what they wore, who they wore, how they wore it — and what the world sees from the outside. Just how “Amy” showed how an addiction does not define a person, “Rihanna” seems like it will follow that same theme. It will be refreshing to see Rihanna, the superstar, but also Rihanna, a woman who is navigating her way through the world.