This brilliant film is an intimate portrait of a musical artist, largely, told by Judee herself. Through recorded interviews, concert intros and entries in her personal journal the film provides deep access to the source of her unique musical creativity and to the darker recesses of her struggles with addiction. Additional interviews with friends and contemporaries, including Graham Nash, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne and David Geffen give a first-hand experience of Judee’s personality, talents and struggles. Ultimately, it is a story of redemption. While not finding a large audience in her lifetime, Judee’s music has been rediscovered inspiring some of top musicians today. Here the film features Adrienne Lenker (Big Thief), Natalie Mering (Weyes Blood) and Shawn Colvin to help bring to life Judee’s core belief that you could “save someone through music.”
The film charts the vertiginous arc of Judee’s life from a deeply troubled adolescence of abuse, addiction and prison through her meteoric rise in the music world. She went from living in a car with four others sleeping in shifts to appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone in four years. Yet, for Judee, success and happiness were fleeting. While her singular sound was critically adored, her albums did not sell. Although she continued to write and record, Judee was injured in an auto accident which put her in constant pain and forced her to rely again on narcotics. She died of an overdose in 1979.
Dirs. Brian Lindstrom, Andy Brown | US | 2023 | 90 min