The queen singer, songwriter, dancer, actress and record producer is back at it again, this time writing, directing, executively producing and starring in the new Netflix documentary – Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé.
Homecoming is a concert film detailing Beyoncé and her performance at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The film documents the long, emotional road of creating the entire performance, and creating a cultural statement.
The film is a documentation of the entire two hour performance, with intermittent snippets of the four months of rehearsals with the band and the four months of rehearsals with the dancers. The transition between the concert footage and the rehearsal footage includes an inspirational quote, and focuses on the empowerment of historically black colleges and universities.
The performance features a copious number of cast members, each hand picked by Beyoncé. Every dancer, background singer and band member, as well as the set, lighting design and costumes were all designed by Beyoncé. In addition to the main band, dancers and singers, Beyoncé also features her own drumline, The Bzzzz, and two featured dancers, Les Twins.
Beyoncé also features some surprise appearances from her husband, Jay-Z, the other two thirds of Destiny’s Child, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, and her sister, Solange. The surprise guests are one of the most exciting parts of the performance, because she gets to interact with some of the people closest to her. Plus, it’s impossible not to smile when watching the chemistry between Beyoncé and Jay-Z, and how happy she looks when she’s singing with Destiny’s Child and dancing with her sister.
It’s completely expected that a documentary like this would generate a lot of excitement because Beyoncé is arguably one of the greatest performers of the century. Her instrumentation, vocals and, most importantly, her message is unmatched by most performers.
Beyoncé was supposed to perform at Coachella in 2017 but became unexpectedly pregnant with her twins, Rumi and Sir. The film takes a look at not only her personal life with the twins, Blue Ivy and her marriage to Jay-Z, but it also shows the struggle she faced when getting her body back to her normal performance standard. Beyoncé’s sacrifice, cutting back and constantly pushing herself creates a message about the importance of self-image. Beyoncé was struggling with her own body and inner self after her pregnancy. She worked hard to get herself emotionally and physically back to performance level, all because she wanted to create a meaningful performance with a message.
Beyoncé has a huge commitment to archiving, both personally and professionally. Homecoming is a great example of keeping the memories of such a special performance that meant so much to each and every member. In addition, it documents the first African-American woman to headline Coachella.
Homecoming is a way to celebrate HBCUs, feminism and black cultural expression in general. The cast and crew create their own university feel as they spend time getting to know each other and becoming a family. Homecoming is not only a play on the university style of a homecoming, but it is also a homecoming for Beyoncé — returning to the stage after her pregnancy and taking some time off. The performance and the film are flawless and simply inspiring. Homecoming brings joy, empowerment and a strong message to all who watch it.