In “Miss Americana: Taylor Swift,” a documentary released on Netflix Jan. 31, Swift goes over the details of her personal life and struggles throughout her acclaimed career. During this documentary, Swift ventures back into her past through an inspiring and emotionally in-depth lens into some of the most influential moments of her singing/songwriting career.
The nearly hour-and-a-half-long film opens, and later ends, with Swift reading out of her journals, one of which she had started at 13 years old. A heartfelt confession that her whole life once revolved around being liked, doing the right thing and being thought of as a good person leads into the rest of the film.
Intertwined in clips of song rehearsals and concert scenes, Swift is seen in home videos talking to the camera while she’s in the car, sitting at home and talking to family members. From the 2009 acceptance interruption by Kanye West during Taylor Swift’s speech at the VMAs to a 2017 lawsuit against DJ David Mueller, who was accused of groping Swift, as seen in a photo taken before her Denver concert in 2013, Swift underwent multiple struggles not just as an artist, but also as a successful young woman. “Miss Americana” portrays the intimate culmination of all these attributions that eventually resulted in Taylor Swift’s decision to speak up for what she believed in over choosing to stay silent and publicly accepted.
In 2018, Swift posted a lengthy Instagram post to her 100 million-plus followers, criticizing Republican Tennessee senate nominee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, endorsing Democratic candidates Phil Bresden and Jim Cooper and encouraging all of her followers to register to vote. While it was a turning point in her mostly-silent artistic career, it didn’t come without a fight.
The film shows Swift talking with members of her presumed production/public relations team prior to publishing the post and receiving warning of the backlash she might receive — even possible threats. As she takes it all under consideration, she’s eventually shown sitting on a couch in comfortable clothes, with two other women, one being her mother, and taking a long moment before hitting publish on the post.
“If I get bad press for saying don’t put a homophobic racist in office, then I get bad press for that. I really don’t care,” Swift said. To which the woman responded, “I would stand behind that 1,000 times.”
Although, in the end, Blackburn won the senate seat. However, a news clip is shown saying that young voter turnout spiked sevenfold from the previous election because of Taylor’s outspoken call to action.
The documentary does an incredible job showing the hours-long behind-the-scenes of Swifts’ decision, like posting a political opinion on Instagram, that took only seconds to execute. It is an incredible testament to her resilience and growth as an artist and should give every viewer and fan chills and tears before the end as they watch the evolution of a strong, independent woman who learned the power of her own voice and harnessed the bravery to use it.
“Miss Americana: Taylor Swift” is now streaming on Netflix and is rated TV-MA.