Watch Trailer For Joan Baez Documentary, ‘I Am A Noise,’ Ahead of Theatrical Premiere

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Joan Baez (Photo © Albert Baez)

The new feature-length documentary, Joan Baez I Am A Noise, will have its U.S. theatrical premiere on October 6, 2023. The film was directed by the singer-activist’s longtime friend, Karen O’Connor, along with Miri Navasky and Maeve O’Boyle. It had its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival on Feb. 17, 2023, with Baez in attendance, and made its U.S. debut at SXSW on March 10. As of September 10, aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has it at a perfect 100% rating based on a limited number of reviews from festival screenings. Variety wrote that the film’s “chief sin may just be that it doesn’t run about a half-hour longer.” Watch the trailer and a separate clip below. reports that Joan Baez I Am A Noise shares the performer’s “dim memories of possible sexual impropriety or abuse committed by her father against her and her sister.” Baez also reveals details about experiencing multiple personality disorder.

“I’ve never talked about it,” Baez told Deadline. “This will be the first indication anybody ever had.”

Watch a clip from the film

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.

“I’m not very good at one-on-one relationships,” she says. “I’m great with one-on-two-thousand.”

Watch the trailer, released on Sept. 7

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

2 Comments so far

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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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  2. muddywatersmann
    #2 muddywatersmann 11 September, 2023, 04:37

    This is sad news to read and learn about Joan’s early life and demos, that she masterfully sustained and struggled with, outwardly appearing as moral warrior with a heart of gold and angelic voice! She was the perfect female voice of the 60’s and ever since, and I hope she is freed from her struggles, as she has spoken re the freedom of others her whole life! My love and respect for her life of truth and service and humanity!

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