Britney Spears’ story becomes more and more poignant – .

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Britney Spears’ story becomes more and more poignant – .


“I want to be able to be heard on what they’ve done to me,” Britney Spears said during court testimony in June, alluding to her leadership, her family and the guardianship that has dominated her life. from 2008.

And since the #FreeBritney fan movement passed its tutelage of the dark realm of conspiracy theories to the mainstream, Spears is speaking out more and more. She hired a new lawyer and had her father removed from his guardianship. And more content telling his story continues to appear. Podcasts, long-form articles, and now documentaries have all come out about her life and the arrangement over the past year or so.

In February, FX and Hulu production Coaching Britney Spears, directed by Samantha Stark, achieved Emmy-nominated respectability by analyzing media coverage of Spears’ life and career. Spears herself, however, criticized the film, which she said focused on “humiliating moments from the past.” She has since spoken out against a BBC documentary (The battle for Britney: fans, money and a conservatory) and a CNN documentary (Toxic: Britney Spears’ battle for freedom).

Two new, more high-profile productions debuted in the past month. Contrôler Britney Spears, a sort of sequel to Framing Britney, was released last week, and Netflix Britney contre Spears dropped out this week. Perhaps in an attempt to avoid criticism of their intrusiveness, the two documentaries primarily shift the focus of Spears herself to the forces that have controlled her. The Netflix movie is more complete, even though it enters ethically questionable territory by covering an ongoing story involving mental health.

Both films focus on most of the same material and the same time frame. They focus on the time around 2007, right after Spears divorced Kevin Federline and started having custody issues, and 2008, when guardianship was established.

de Netflix Britney contre Spears raises lingering questions more directly than even Coaching Britney Spears made. Filmmaker Erin Lee Carr and journalist Jenny Eliscu, who previously wrote two Rolling Stone covers on Spears, take the place of viewers when they discuss the evolution of the story.

The documentary revisits the establishment of guardianship, which Spears’ parents, especially her father, have touted as a necessary device to protect her from outside influences such as Adnan Ghalib, the paparazzi with whom Spears began a relationship after his divorce, and Sam Lutfi, who claimed to be his manager.

The two speak to the filmmakers to stress that guardianship was not necessary. Ghalib points out that Spears wrote parts of the Blackout in front of him on a Starbucks towel, while Lutfi claims he’s become an easy scapegoat for the media and his parents. It seems questionable that a documentary on the women’s agency allows Lutfi to challenge some of the craziest conspiracy theories about him without noting that he has been accused of interfering in the lives of young women.

But alongside Ghalib’s point of view, the film raises questions about the bizarre benefit of doubt given to Spears’ family and their account of his state of mind at the time. There has always been ableist speculation that there may be something unknown about Spears or his sanity that would require guardianship. Even Adam Streisand, a lawyer Spears tried to hire to challenge the guardianship, said in Coaching Britney Spears that he didn’t know what he didn’t know, implying that a secret diagnosis might merit what happened.

Britney contre Spears shows how Spears’ sanity was used against her, even as she was forced to work nonstop. But like the BBC’s production, the documentary enters ethically murky territory when it tries to speculate on the diagnosis that led the courts to grant guardianship. This is ultimately irrelevant given the evidence of alleged abuse of power and misogyny around Spears since.

Both films mention the way she worked a few weeks after the creation of the Guardianship: going on tour to promote the 2008s. Cirque and appearing in MTV’s Comeback documentary For registration. As with this documentary, there are only glimpses of her voice here. For example, For registration the cinematographer presents a letter Spears gave her in which she attempted to challenge a glossy People magazine cover about Kevin Federline, where she felt he tried to sell himself as a perfect father and herself as an irresponsible mother. (The letter was never published.)

But the most compelling investigative efforts focus on the people and institutions that benefited from the financial arrangements of the Trusteeship once it was established. The documentaries feature Lou Taylor, a manager of the Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group, who is trusted by a Spears biographer because of their common Christian background.

Taylor also reportedly suggested placing Lindsay Lohan under guardianship, and Control points out that another Tri Star employee, Robin Greenhill, suddenly appeared in Spears’ inner circle as the daily controlling director even though she and Taylor were technically business directors. And their entertainment company, Tri Star, received a payment of $ 500,000 from Jamie Spears while Spears was on hiatus at the time.

Sources close to Spears tell how her father terrified her and spoke down on her; she herself has already spoken about her family and her father on her Instagram. (His sons, who are 14 and 15, also got a restraining order against him in 2019).

In Contrôler Britney Spears, a member of the security company hired after the guardianship began points out that Spears’ entire life has been recorded and / or monitored, even his conversations with his children and his lawyer. Her wardrobe manager remembers that Spears’ budget was tightly controlled and she couldn’t even buy Skechers shoes or indulge in sushi. She also remembers Spears’ fear that marijuana smoke at a concert could mean she could fail a drug test and not be allowed to see her children. From her assistant to former Creative Directors, they all highlight how people close to Spears were separated from her if they got too close, in a cult-like pattern.

The chilling misogyny that permeates all of history -om leadership to her family to the court system, including one particular judge putting her down in court – paints a disturbing picture in which Spears’ voice has been erased again and again. Again. As she once tries to get her lawyer, Sam Ingham, to subject her father to random drug tests like hers, the judge replies, “Who is she to demand this from someone?” The judge even tells Ingham that he might not want to mention to Spears that she has the right to marry.

The various ways in which everyone around Spears dehumanizes her is a reminder of how history sheds light on issues that transcend this particular scenario -om the rights of people with disabilities to the treatment of young women in the ruthlessly capitalist entertainment industry.

His new lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, comments at the end of Britney contre Spears that the evidence that was uncovered of alleged abuse, especially by her father, would ultimately help free her from the arrangement. In court, he called Jamie Spears a “toxic and abusive alcoholic”. His father has now been removed from his post and Spears appears to be on the verge of extricating himself from the tutelage.

Through his lawyer, Spears refused to participate in the documentaries. Yet, especially now that her father has been taken out, one wonders why all of this content focused on some of Spears’ most traumatic years is being revisited without her perspective at the center. (Filmmaker Carr pointed out that she deliberately avoided using footage from 2007 that Spears found traumatic.)

In her testimony in court, Spears said that keeping guardianship “a secret” only benefits those who exercise it against her. “I would also like to be able to share my story with the world and what they did to me,” she added. After thirteen years of silence, she spoke strategically throughout the legal maneuvers. She also spoke out against the onslaught of documentaries. Still, the media and fans seem to want answers on everything; they hope that one day Spears will sit down and say it all. Yet even before the Guardianship, Spears was a private person. In For registration, the documentary filmmaker asked her why she had never spoken out during the height of her era of paparazzi surveillance. His answer ? “I didn’t think it was anyone’s business, really. “●

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