Joan Baez Documentary, ‘I Am A Noise,’ Coming

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Joan Baez (Photo © Albert Baez)

Joan Baez is the subject of a new feature length documentary, Joan Baez I Am A Noise. The film will have its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival on Feb. 17, 2023, with Baez in attendance. It was directed by her long time friend, Karen O’Connor, along with Miri Navasky and Maeve O’Boyle. It’ll make its U.S. debut at SXSW on March 10. More film festival screenings are expected.

From various descriptions of the film: Neither a conventional biopic nor a traditional concert film, this immersive documentary is more of a visual memoir anchored by Baez’s extraordinary archive, including newly discovered home movies, diaries, artwork, and audio recordings.

Since her debut at the age of 18, the musician, civil rights campaigner and activist has been on stage for over 60 years. For the now 82-year-old, the personal has always been political, and her friendship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and her pacifism have shaped her commitment.

Joan Baez (Photo © Mead Street Films)

In this biography that opens with her farewell tour, Baez takes stock in an unsparing fashion and confronts sometimes painful memories. She not only shares her successes but also speaks openly about long-standing psychological problems and therapies, about family, drugs, aging and questions of guilt and forgiveness. She makes it clear that, during her relationship with the very young Bob Dylan, she used her celebrity to launch his career. Her disappointment at her later estrangement from him becomes palpable.

Thanks to a long-term friendship with O’Connor, Baez granted the directing trio access to the “inner demons” that have plagued her since youth. Their film interweaves diary entries and a wealth of partly previously unseen archive material with extensive conversations with Baez, as well as backstage moments from the tour.

In 1971 she scored her only top 10 single with a cover of the Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”

Watch her perform it on The Midnight Special

Related: Our 2018 interview with Baez during her farewell tour

Best Classic Bands Staff
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  1. Shanty mick
    #1 Shanty mick 13 February, 2023, 15:13

    She has been, & still is the very best. Always a humanitarian, which we desperately still need today! Not to mention.. One hell of an awesome musician!!!

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