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Let's Discuss 'Britney Vs Spears': Netflix's New Britney Spears Doc

Britney Vs. Spears Britney Spears Documentary Netflix
Netflix

Another documentary about Britney Spears and her conservatorship has landed. New to Netflix, “Britney Vs Spears” dives into court documents not shown in “Framing Britney Spears,” the documentary that helped ignite public interest in Spears’ plight. The Netflix doc is careful not to be an entire repeat of the New York Times’ presentation. So, if you thought you watched one and could skip the other, think again.

According to “Britney Vs Spears” director Erin Lee Carr, the project started out to be about Britney Spears’ awe-inspiring career. Only to see it turn out to be almost entirely about the controversial conservatorship Britney has gotten subjected to for 13 years. Once she is free, I would like to see a documentary about her life as a once-in-a-lifetime pop star. It is fair to say, Britney deserves it.

The Conservatorship Spotlight

As it stands, though, her staggering legacy has become a footnote while the conservatorship takes center stage in the media glare. Unfortunately, it feels as though the conservatorship will define Britney Spears instead of the other way around. That is a scary thought for someone who, just like “Britney Vs Spears” director Erin Lee Carr, has followed Spears’ career since they were ten years old.

Britney Spears is an icon, and what she did for pop music and female entertainers helped open the doors for many that have come after her, including Taylor Swift. That is not what “Britney Vs Spears” is here to convey, though. Instead, journalist Jenny Eliscu and Erin Lee Carr “investigate” the legalities of how Spears became stuck in the conservatorship and the tight restrictions alleged by those getting interviewed.

Whatever your stance on the conservatorship, it is fair to say that many watching would like to see a fair presentation of how things happened. “Britney Vs Spears” does not do that. So, those watching it will probably feel as though the conservatorship arose in a vacuum slightly perpetuated by the arrival of a certain someone in Spears’ orbit.

Is The Doc Biased?

The doc features very little to no mention of the incidents that led to public concern for the pop star. Nor is there any sense that anything could have caused someone to be legitimately concerned for Britney Spears’ wellbeing. “There are two sides to every story, and then there is the truth.” To that point, “Britney Vs Spears” shows no interview with anyone contradicting its narrative.

The documentary does not even pretend to be impartial. It is not very objective, and yet select viewers may feel like they are learning all the facts. Anyone supporting the Free Britney movement should be concerned that it gets undermined when things are obviously hidden that should not be.

Losing narrative objectivity only hurts the subject. It makes people doubt everything they have heard that is legitimate by keeping other things in the shadows. There is no need to be scared of the truth for everyone who believes in the Free Britney movement. The facts should be its best friend.

The Narrative Spine

Stories like singing sensation Luis Miguel’s battle with his father are prime examples of how Britney Spears is not alone based on her testimony. Hence, everything that Britney alleged in her June 23 court testimony is enough of a narrative spine to go on. Thus, if filmmakers simply and solely worked to verify each of Spears’ allegations, it would have done more to bolster her case.

After all, it is not as if Britney Spears sat down with the documentary and gave her story first-hand like Paris Hilton and Taylor Swift have both done. What is so upsetting is that Britney Spears’ own words could serve as the sole backbone for a documentary, and this movie deviates from that somewhat.

There are elements in Britney Spears’ life post-conservatorship that they do not even attempt to investigate outside of her father. And I am going to say it. It is an inaccurate assessment to blame the “patriarchy,” when several women have played an integral role in placing and keeping Britney Spears in the conservatorship.

Final Thoughts

When taking to task everyone responsible for what has happened to Britney Spears, you must include those beyond the “patriarchy.” Anyone hoping to see an honest assessment must hold everyone -- including women -- accountable for their actions in Britney’s predicament. “Britney Vs Spears” concludes with the most recent update it had at the time. Thankfully, the court recently had another one in mind.

Not long after it premiered on Netflix, the court suspended Britney Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, as the conservator of her person, causing Britney to “burst into tears” upon hearing the news, according to Page Six. It was a landmark day in Britney Spears’ case, proving Britney is re-writing her ending day by day.

In the end and to its credit, “Britney Vs Spears” unearths information that is troubling and worth knowing as the public continues to follow the case. It is worth watching as long as you go in with your eyes open. “Britney Vs Spears” is now streaming on Netflix alongside Taylor Swift’s must-watch feature documentary “Miss Americana.”

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