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Movie Review

‘Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé’ a concert movie masterpiece

Published:Wednesday | December 6, 2023 | 12:12 AMDamian Levy/Gleaner Writer
Beyoncé in Schiaparelli for the opening segment of her Renaissance World Tour stop on night one of two in Chicago. The rain ended just as she took the stage with close to 48,000 fans thunderously showing her their appreciation.
Beyoncé in Schiaparelli for the opening segment of her Renaissance World Tour stop on night one of two in Chicago. The rain ended just as she took the stage with close to 48,000 fans thunderously showing her their appreciation.

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is known for being an icon in several ways. As a dancer, a singer, and a performer, she’s largely unmatched. She’s a beloved artiste with over two decades worth of music, the oldest of which is yet to go out of style, becoming classics. Playing her tracks through your best speaker likely won’t equate to seeing her in concert, but for the next best thing, this is Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé.

It is not just a concert film, but a concerted effort to bring a legend to her legion. There are several moments that will have you picking your jaw up off the floor. At the outset you see a chilling vocal performance that defies understanding, with a level of control most artistes could only dream of.

Following that you’re treated to the sights of dance routines with a staggering amount of wardrobe changes. The film doesn’t depict one night only. With some clever edits, the audience gets a taste of several performances, all fine tuned and perfected. The movements on stage are so in sync across time and venue, you start to question how such a feat comes together.

To that end the movie takes viewers behind the scenes. Beyoncé has a level of mastery of her identity that many can only hope to aspire to. She commands her crew and turns the impossible into reality. At the same time that level of control has a cost. In between the breathtaking choreography and singing you’re given a look at the physical and emotional toll of being the very best at what you do.

Beyond her sacrifices the film acknowledges the sacrifices of those who came before her. Credit is given to the visionaries who laid the foundation for the sound that echoes through Renaissance. There’s an emphasis on community, and giving a safe haven for expression in all forms, without fear of ostracisation or oppression.

That sense of community also extends to Beyoncé’s immediate family, a facet of the film that’s depicted with gratitude, and at times regret. She gives her all as a performer, yet when the curtains close, the film shows her going beyond the point of exhaustion as a mother.

As a concert film it is a thorough study of a celebrity at the height of her power. The show itself is incredibly well designed with dynamic and thought-provoking sets, and an intricate level of detail that’s simply unprecedented. It’s the effort and the intention that went into creating it that’s even more impressive. One of the greatest artistes of all time, putting together her magnum opus of a show, divulging her vulnerability and history, and committing it all as a piece of film history. Renaissance: A Film By Beyoncé is in a class all on its own.

Rating: G.O.A.T

Damian Levy is a reviewer and podcaster for Damian Michael Movies