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    Here's Everything We Know So Far About Taylor Swift's Upcoming Documentary

    There's a lot to unpack here.

    Back in November 2019, we discovered that we were going to be blessed with a Taylor Swift documentary sometime in 2020. However, beyond that, the details were extremely vague.


    All we knew was that the documentary would be premiering at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 23 and then land on Netflix sometime later.

    Anthony Behar / SIPA USA/PA Images

    Now a Netflix release date has been announced, and we'll get to watch the movie from the comfort of our own homes on Jan. 31. So, without further ado, here's everything we know — and are theorising — about the documentary so far...

    The documentary was made by Emmy-winning director and producer Lana Wilson.

    Lana has two other film credits to her name — After Tiller, an Emmy-winning feature documentary about the four most-targeted abortion doctors in the US, and The Departure, a film about a punk turned Buddhist priest in Japan.

    On her official website, she states that her work "uses real people and situations to create transformative cinematic experiences," suggesting that this documentary will be pretty special from both a content and visual perspective.

    It's described as a "raw and emotionally revealing look" at Taylor "during a transformational period in her life as she learns to embrace her role not only as a songwriter and performer, but as a woman harnessing the full power of her voice."

    Which is a lot to take in, but it sounds great.

    Now, based on that description, it'd be easy to assume that the documentary will at least partly address Taylor's ongoing battle with her former record label boss and Scooter Braun over her master recordings.

    Patricia Schlein / Starmax/PA Images

    In case you missed that drama, back in June last year, the master recordings of Taylor's first six albums and her former record label were purchased by Scooter Braun in a move Taylor described as her "worst nightmare".

    Since then, there's been a lot of back and forth between both parties, with Taylor revealing she plans to rerecord her first six albums this year when she's legally permitted to do so, and also alleging that both Scooter and her former boss, Scott Borchetta, have been actively blocking the use of her old music in live performances. You can read the full story here.

    However, it turns out that this battle won't be featured in the documentary after all. In fact, in a statement released during a second public dispute with Scooter and Scott, Taylor claimed that the pair were blocking the use of her old music in the documentary.


    "Scott and Scooter have declined the use of my older music or performance footage for this project, even though there is no mention of either of them or Big Machine Records anywhere in the film," she wrote.

    So, if Taylor isn't harnessing her voice over the music industry and her master recordings in the documentary, what will it focus on? Well, I have a few theories.

    Firstly, the documentary artwork bares a striking resemblance to these photos of Taylor taken in Australia during the Reputation stadium tour back in 2018. So, it seems likely that we'll be getting some behind-the-scenes content from this era.

    This is interesting because the Reputation era took place at the peak of Taylor's public blackout in the wake of her feud with Kimye.

    However, even more interesting is the fact that the above Instagram photos — and therefore possibly the documentary artwork too — were taken just days after Taylor released her first-ever political statement.

    You might remember that for the first nine years of her career, Taylor kept her political opinions private — something she was widely criticised for both during and after the 2016 election.

    Then, ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, Taylor surprised us all by dropping this post on Instagram in which she publicly endorsed a democratic candidate, pledged support for LGBT rights and denounced racism.

    What's more, Taylor recently revealed that she wrote the song "Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince" at around the same time. That's right — the same song about political despair that seems to have inspired the name of the documentary.

    So I'm going to throw it out there and suggest that the ~voice she's harnessing~ in this documentary is her political one.

    After all, since that first political post, Taylor has been working to establish herself as a vocal activist.

    Rich Fury / Getty Images

    She started a public campaign urging her fans to register to vote ahead of the midterm elections, before setting up a petition in support of the Equality Act and then released a song promoting LGBT rights.

    Perhaps the documentary sheds light on Taylor's motivation for taking a more political stance.

    So far, two images have been released from the documentary. The first was this, which shows Taylor glammed up in what appears to be an elevator.


    And, judging by her glam and outfit, this scene must have been shot on the same night as the 2018 AMAs.

    Oconnor-arroyo / AFF/PA Images

    You might recall the night in question — Taylor accepted the award for Best Tour and in her speech alerted fans to the start of a new era by saying she was "so excited for the next chapter".


    So it looks like we'll be getting insight into what went on backstage at this awards ceremony.

    And the second image we've seen is this one, showing Taylor sitting at her piano with her adorable kitten, Benjamin.


    What's interesting about this photo, though, is that Taylor actually adopted Benjamin after meeting him on the set of the video for "Me" — the lead single from Lover.

    Taylor Swift

    This suggests that the cameras were around during the creation of the album which could mean behind-the-scenes studio content in the vein of her "Making of a Song" series.

    And, finally, I have one more theory. The final track on Lover, "Daylight," ends with a voice recording of Taylor saying this:

    Fans are now wondering whether this recording wasn't just an interesting meditation on the theme of the album, but actually a clip taken from the documentary.


    Does that mean we'll get into a glimpse of the personal life that she's been keeping notoriously private for years?! Only time will tell...


    Ellie Woodward is Deputy News Director: Celebrity and Entertainment for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Ellie Woodward at

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