Taylor Swift shines in revealing new documentary


Taylor Nation

The new documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival Jan. 23

On a Friday night in late January, I dragged my friends to a crowded theatre at Alamo Drafthouse. We were there for the premiere of “Taylor Swift: Miss Americana”. We were surrounded by other fans (called “Swifties”), who had waited all day to watch a documentary that had already been out on Netflix for 17 hours.  

Many would ask “Why?” and the answer is simple: that is what Swifties do. This documentary would provide one and a half hours of content and answer countless questions we had asked each other every day. So, like so many times before, we stayed up late, threw whimsical parties, and took over Twitter: all in the name of Taylor Alison Swift. 

What might surprise you though is this movie is not just for the Swifties. This film is for the lovers, the haters, and anyone who ever wondered, “What happened to Taylor Swift anyway?” 

The film reveals Swift’s life for the past couple of years. Throughout, Swift discusses her difficult relationship with the media, battling her eating disorder, and dealing with her mother’s cancer. We learn new details of her feud with Kanye West and subsequent disappearance, along with her sexual assault case and decision to take a public political stance. We also see the light-hearted side of Swift’s life with clips from the production of both the Reputation and Lover albums, her home life, and the Reputation Stadium Tour. 

My favorite scene was where we see videos of Swift filmed by her boyfriend, actor Joe Alwyn. She reflects on how stepping out of the spotlight and into the arms of her loved ones tremendously improved her life. Also, we are blessed with an acoustic version of “Call it What You Want” that is likely from the first time she sang it to Alwyn. 

The most powerful part of this documentary is when Swift decides to use her platform to spark political change. Ahead of the midterm elections, Swift posted a letter, urging followers to register to vote and to keep Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) who Swift dubbed “Trump in a wig” out of office. 

The film follows Swift’s battle with her father and team as they urge her to stay out of politics, the nervous excitement before posting the letter, and her utter defeat when she learns that despite her best efforts, Blackburn prevailed. 

This ordeal inspired Swift to write the anthem “Only the Young,” which was released alongside the movie. Viewers get to see how Swift can take an idea or a feeling into the studio, and come out with a phenomenal final product. The song serves as a message to the younger generations that, if they choose to take a stance, change will happen. Not only is this song empowering, it is a bop; I highly recommend giving it a stream.