Beyoncé Brings Beychella to Netflix

By :Angela Kight

Last April, Beyoncé, arguably one of the biggest music artists in the world, made history last year as being the first African-American woman to headline at Coachella. She marched onto a stage in Coachella and led one of the greatest performances in the modern history of music festivals. It was dubbed Beychella and it became the one of the top significant pop culture events of the year. This month, she immortalized Beychella by turning it into a documentary on Netflix. It is not only a documentary, but it is a triumphant celebration in which fans can re-live her monumental performance. 

 The two-hour film features her Coachella performance and footage of rehearsals leading up to it. In between, there are transitions that show empowering quotes from black intellectuals that celebrate historically black colleges and universities.

Beyoncé uses this space and audience to strike up a cultural conversation in a way that no other artist has ever before. The documentary is not only a concert experience, but it also serves the cause of black intellectualism.

Beyoncé in a scene from her documentary "Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé."    Photo Credit: Netflix

Beyoncé in a scene from her documentary "Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé."

Photo Credit: Netflix

Beyoncé takes fans on an onstage parade of her greatest hits, where we see performances that feature cast members and dancers who Beyoncé hand picked herself. Every dancer, cast member, costumes, set design and lighting design were all designed or hand picked by Beyoncé. She also features her own drumline, The Bzzzz, which gives viewers a university vibe. As carefully choreographed and precise every little detail is, the performances are nonetheless explosive and raw.

From Beyoncé’s early hit “Say My Name” with Destiny’s Child, to “Top Off,” her collaboration with husband Jay-Z and rap artist Future, we get an inside look on her personal life and experiences. The documentary touches on her marital issues with Jay-Z, her personal life with her daughter Blue Ivy and her unexpected pregnancy with her twins, Rumi and Sir. It recognizes her vulnerability and her self-worth throughout these experiences. It shows the struggle she faced when getting her body back after getting pregnant with her twins just before she was supposed to perform at Coachella in 2017. Beyoncé’s sacrifice and constant determination to get back to performance standard shows the importance of self-image and how she struggled with her own body and emotions.

Ultimately, “Homecoming” feels like a gift to audiences everywhere. It celebrates HBCUs, feminism and black excellence. “Homecoming” is not just a play on the culturally rich homecoming events at HBCUs, but it also represents Beyoncé’s own homecoming—her triumphant return to the stage and return to her full superhuman potential.

Yes, Beyoncé earned a $60-million-dollar-deal with Netflix with the release of her documentary, but those who watch it are the fortunate ones. “Homecoming” makes you feel inspired—it makes you want to work and push towards your fullest potential. It gives you feelings of hope, joy and empowerment and it reminds us that we should all strive to be great, no matter the obstacles.