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The online student news site of Redondo Union High School

High Tide

The online student news site of Redondo Union High School

High Tide

Unseen Struggles

“Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” celebrates self-love and standing out in her personal life and career.
Official+movie+poster+via+Fandango.
Official movie poster via Fandango.

“Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” celebrates three themes: Black joy, queer love and new beginnings. Released Dec. 1, the concert film focuses on Beyoncé’s tour for her latest album, “Renaissance,” and features the journey’s behind-the-scenes process. From the start, Beyoncé gives credit to those who make the most of life by praising their ability to “make lemonade out of [their] lemons.” The film showcases her worldwide concerts and the creative process behind the large-scale production, which was a profound, ethereal experience to watch. Shown through her motivations, hard work and involvement in every aspect of the tour, the magnitude of Beyoncé’s creative mind and legacy were cemented; she mastered her craft as an artist in every way, shape and form. This film was perfectly executed and grasped my attention from the first note she sang.

Beyoncé is an international icon, as shown through her successful career as a 32-time Grammy award-winning artist and entrepreneur. I grew up listening to her music and was even fortunate enough to go to her birthday concert at SoFi Stadium in September. One of the things I love about her is that she takes care for everything she is associated with and expresses her beliefs subtly rather than forcefully. The film highlighted this fact through her engendering of intimacy, women and lifestyles in general. These are concepts that have been prevalent throughout her career and music, but especially in the album “Renaissance.”

 

 

The film started with Beyoncé’s performances of “Dangerously in Love” and “Flaws and All” which both explore themes of love, vulnerability and the complexities of life and relationships. These songs from early in her career kicked off the show representing her appreciation of her past. This was the concept of the entire concert film and also Beyoncé’s vision shown through her lyrics and mindset. The film transitioned between Beyoncé’s tour shows, which began on May 10 in Stockholm, Sweden, and also the behind-the-scenes of all it took to put on the international production. It became apparent as the movie progressed that the film was a celebration of self-love and standing out as shown through the thousands of unique outfits, personalities and diversity of the audiences at each show. The emotions of everyone involved were palpable through the screen as they laughed, cried and danced together, and I feel as though I am a part of the crowd.

Crowd from Beyoncé’s SoFi concert. Photo via beyonce.com.

Seeing the efforts of her production teams, dancers, family and Beyoncé herself brought a new perspective to the entire experience as it showed how much personal care they took for the tour. The process was far from simple. There were around 160 trucks to transfer the stages from stadium to stadium to perform for a crowd reaching up to 70,000 people. The overall spectacle of the show was increased due to the intricacy of the production from its handcrafted stage to the thousands of cameras, lights and positioning of everyone involved. These details made the concert experience even sweeter and more meaningful as I was able to understand the significance of the combined effort to put it on.

The film took an emotional turn when it showed the effects that touring had on Beyoncé and those around her. She expresses that the process of bringing “The Renaissance” to life meant “no days off” for over a month and having to defy any obstacles. A recent knee surgery should have limited the movement and physicality of the singer but it only made her work harder as shown through her daily hours of training and practice. Her drive to always perform touched me because it showed what determination can accomplish through adversity. Even technical difficulties–which she believed were brought on by breaking her rituals– didn’t stop the team as they were able to combat and prepare for anything, even a blackout. 

One of the things I loved most about the film was seeing how Beyoncé incorporated her family into the tour. Many artists leave behind family to pursue the pop star dream but she was able to show her daughters places, old and new, and watch them grow throughout the journey. Blue Ivy, her oldest daughter, even had a part in the show which was difficult for Beyoncé to approve of. Despite her stardom and international appeal, Beyoncé takes time to be there for those who love her as they were there for her. She demonstrated her ability to balance both work and personal life which is an important lesson to reflect on and connect with.

Diana Ross and Beyoncé on stage. Photo via beyonce.com.

Beyoncé uses this film as a tribute to those she has looked up to and learned from throughout her life as well. In her rendition of “River Deep – Mountain High,” she honored the late Tina Turner who passed recently this year, and acknowledged the deep respect and gratitude she held for her. A surprise performance by Diana Ross for Beyoncé’s birthday concert was beautiful to watch as I saw how this impacted her while she got ready to perform again backstage. The presence of Uncle Johnny, a deceased and highly beloved family member, is felt not only in her life but throughout the tour. As he was a Black gay man from the South, his presence was represented in the celebration of queer joy in the film.

Overall, Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” is not only a movie but as Beyoncé would put it, a “culture, state of mind and fantasy come true.” It showed the relatability of losing power and putting in the work to gain it back, then once that is accomplished, the feeling of freedom and liberation from past doubts and challenges. It is a montage fabricated with care to show the manifestation and imagination of a dream as well as the pursuit of it.

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About the Contributor
Aaliyah Roberson, Writing Editor
My name is Aaliyah and I'm a junior this year at RUHS. This year I am a writing/copy editor for the High Tide. I love to read and write stories, which is one of the main reasons why I joined Journalism. I really want to major in film and have a career in cinema. I’m really excited for this year.

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