The Brooke Shields Story: A Harrowing Portrait of a Woman Surviving the Media Industry
The American filmmaker, Lana Wilson, has dedicated her career to documentary film. In 2013, she premiered her first film, After Tiller, at the Sundance Film Festival. This feature film addressed the issue of abortion through a complex lens that still resonates in current times. In 2017, she presented The Departure, a documentary about suicide in Japan. Wilson is also the director of Taylor Swift: Miss Americana (93%) (2020), a production that addresses the creative process and personal life of singer Taylor Swift behind the scenes.
Throughout her filmography, Wilson approaches her subjects in an honest and moving way, allowing the protagonists to tell their own truth while accompanying them with empathy in the filming process. Wilson’s most recent project is The Brooke Shields Story (86%), a two-part documentary that covers part of the life of actress, model, and icon Brooke Shields.
The film press has given a series of positive comments for The Brooke Shields Story (86%), recognizing that it is a heartbreaking portrait of a survivor of the pressures and abuses of the media industry. Shields becomes a woman who discovers her power after being a sexualized young woman, showing the dangers and victories of gaining agency in a hostile world. While this is another documentary that highlights the dark side of fame, Shields’ charisma and sincerity give the film a different and special touch.
Some members of the press recognize that Lana Wilson is the right person to present this story, as she allows her protagonist to be at the center of the story. The documentary has a lot of eighties nostalgia, even at times it seems that the events that are addressed are happening in the present time. However, the only thing that is still valid, unfortunately, is the misogyny that women experience in film and television. Wilson hints at how little things have changed in that sense, yet manages to highlight and illuminate the most moving and light-filled moments that Shields has to offer.
The documentary also has its dark moments, shocking revelations, and truths first told to the public. Both the archival footage and interviews with Shield’s friends and media culture experts help build a more rounded film that delivers on its warning message about how society objectifies and sexualizes girls and young women.
While The Brooke Shields Story (86%) can be an uncomfortable documentary to watch, it is also inspiring and surprising to know. Shields’ story is ultimately an empowering one, and the documentary is a testament to her strength and spirit.