Beyoncé’s documentary trailer presents her as the best the human race has to offer
The trailer for Beyoncé’s Netflix documentary, Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé, features a voiceover from another superstar: the late American poet Maya Angelou.
“What I really want to do is be a representative of my race, of the human race,” the poet says in her gravely, musical voice (video) , over backstage clips from the pop star’s legendary 2018 Coachella performance. “I have a chance to show how kind we can be, how intelligent and generous we can be. I have a chance to teach and love and to laugh and I know that when I’m finished doing what I’m sent here to do, I will be called home.”
Beyoncé is frequently hailed as the world’s greatest living entertainer, and she has bolstered that reputation with an ever-expanding portfolio of creative work. (The woman that the New York Times recently described as “the first lady of Everything” just made a grand entrance into the corporate sneaker wars.) So it’s easy to see how Angelou’s words describe her, as a paragon of human potential.
Taken over the montage of backstage moments leading up to the star’s blockbuster 2018 Coachella set, however, Angelou’s words read as referring to black women more broadly—and to speak to the larger idea of “black excellence.”
Beyoncé was the first black woman to headline the festival (a fact that she pointed out upon first taking the stage). Over a year in the making, it was her first performance following the birth of twins Rumi and Sir. It was seen as a triumphant homage to black college life, and to black excellence more broadly.
DRUMLine Live, a marching band made up largely of alumni from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) provided renditions of Beyoncé’s discography, while the star herself was joined by over 100 back-up dancers. She also delighted fans with cameos from her husband Jay-Z and sister Solange (not to mention a long-awaited Destiny’s Child reunion).
The documentary, which will drop on April 17, is “an in-depth look at Beyoncé’s celebrated 2018 Coachella performance from creative concept to cultural movement,” Netflix said on Twitter. It will also reportedly feature Beyoncé’s entire performance, the first time the whole set has been officially available since it was live-streamed last year from the festival.
With Homecoming, it seems that Queen Bey is giving people a rare look into the makings of a legend. Watch the entire trailer here: