Lana Wilson’s ‘Miss Americana’ Shows a Deeper Side to Taylor Swift

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Published February 19, 2020
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The Montclarion

In her new eye-opening and intense documentary, Taylor Swift bravely takes her audience on the journey of how she decided to break the one rule many recording artists try to follow: Don’t get political.

The Netflix original documentary titled “Miss Americana,” was directed by Lana Wilson and was released on Jan. 31. It is named appropriately after one of Swift’s songs from her 2019 album, “Lover.”

After a 13-year long career as a silenced singer-songwriter, Swift had a breakthrough idea to stop being the nice girl she was expected to be.

In just 85 minutes, Swift walks the audience through how she was in the beginning of her career, which is sensationally different from the strong woman she is now. She dives deep into topics she has not talked much about, making her personal life more public than ever before.

I respect the pop star more than ever now. I have been a committed fan since I was little, but there was a lot I did not know about her before watching this film. As a fan, I feel more connected to her since watching the documentary. We don’t see a whole different side of Swift in this film; we just see a deeper side.

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Swift hugs her mother in 2020’s “Miss Americana.”
Photo courtesy of Netflix

She talks personally to the camera and does not hide her feelings and experiences. She cries, laughs and fights for what she wants.

Oftentimes, it seems the singer has set a camera up herself and placed it somewhere static to record whatever she is doing, such as making an important phone call or playing music on her piano. In reality, it’s Wilson behind the camera using close-ups to capture these intimate moments.

With the illusion that no one but Swift is in the room, the camerawork certainly reflects the stunning vulnerability of the content being shared.

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“Miss Americana,” directed by Lana Wilson and starring Taylor Swift, won at the Sundance Film Festival.
Photo courtesy of Netflix

In order to fulfill Wilson’s focus on the buildup of Swift’s career, a lot of archival footage of interviews, concerts and home videos are shown. The way the information is presented describes how each life event transpired. The film makes it easy to follow Swift’s story, regardless of whether the audience is familiar with it or not.

The documentary was extremely thorough and touched upon every topic that fans longed for Swift to address. She dives into a multitude of personal topics including her writing process, the effects of haters and other artists, her love life, health and political beliefs. At last, she fully gives every detail to her side of the story and lets her audience in on parts of her life they never knew about.

Swift throws away her portrayal of a “perfect person” for this documentary. She is not afraid of being herself or showing her true emotions on camera. It is clear that she genuinely wanted to connect more with her audience and show people that she is a changed woman after her experiences over the last decade.

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Swift prepares to perform at her “Lover” concert.
Photo courtesy of Netflix

Swift is no longer a neutral singer or a good girl with a pretty face. She is sensational; someone young people should look up to.

“I want to wear pink and tell you how I feel about politics,” Swift said. “And I don’t think that those things have to cancel each other out.”

I completely agree with Swift’s statement from her film. Femininity does not make a woman or person less valuable. She is speaking up for herself, other women and the LGBTQ+ community. She does not do it to make herself look better or to gain more followers. She does it because she knows it is the right thing to do.

Whether you are a fan of Swift or not, I urge you to watch this inspiring and raw documentary.

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