Mary J. Blige’s My Life – Review

Director: Vanessa Roth

Cast: Mary J. Blige, Sean Diddy Combs, Taraj P. Hansen, Alicia Keys

Synopses: The documentary celebrates the 25th anniversary of Blige’s acclaimed album, My Life, and take us on a reflective conversation about her life, struggles and victories.

Screenwriter Stephen McFeely once said that “even the best documentaries has somebody’s bias”. Vanessa Roth’s newest documentary Mary J. Blige’s My Life has mine. Powerful, raw, and very well-directed, this upcoming Amazon Prime feature took me on a deep and emotional time travel throughout its subject’s life. It made me cry, it gave me goosebumps, and raised my soul. But that should not surprise anyone – we are talking about Mary J. Blige.

Mary J. Blige’s My Life celebrates the 25th anniversary of Blige’s acclaimed second album, “My Life”, released in 1994. Considered by many to be her most personal and distinguished work, “My Life” sold 481k copies in its first week, making it number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Billboard chart.

The documentary also shows how the Grammy award-winning singer rose from her poor and painful childhood to become the most eminent female R&B and Hip-hop artist over the past 20 years.

Directed by Academy Award-winner documentarist Vanessa Roth, Mary J. Blige’s My Life dives deep and unapologetically in the life of a Black female artist that means so much for so many. Throughout the documentary, Blige is her most authentic, sincere self. She talks openly about her struggles with depression, drug and alcohol abuse, her parent’s divorce and on being a survivor of domestic abuse. She visits with fans, reminisces with family members and, most important, shares how music and singing gave her the courage to fight back.

Roth’s masterful direction carefully brings together the cinematography, editing and sound, without never outshining Blige’s story. Every aspect of it working as a stage. Mary J. Blige’s My Life is a beautiful tribute to someone whose work broke ground for innumerous contemporary artists out there, and the most appropriate way to celebrate her most singular and heartfelt album.

Mary J. Blige’s My Life arrives on Amazon Prime Video on June 25th, 2021.

Grade: B+

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