Melissa Etheridge provides live performance in jail | EUROtoday

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Sie wollte keinen „Ich bin eine starke Frau, hört mich brüllen“-Song schreiben, sagt Melissa Etheridge, und man dankt es ihr. Etheridge sitzt ihrer Ehefrau gegenüber, in der Hand eine Gibson-Akustikgitarre, vor ihr der Text des frisch geschriebenen Liedes, das sie eine Woche später vor Insassinnen der Topeka Correctional Facility in Kansas singen wird. Hält es, was Melissa Etheridge verspricht?

Die Dokumentation jedenfalls tut es. „Melissa Etheridge: I’m Not Broken“ besticht durch Nüchternheit. Das überrascht deshalb, weil der Inhalt der zweiteiligen Paramount-Produktion ausreichend Fallstricke spannt, um in eine rührige Empowerment-Erzählung abzudriften: ein Konzert im Frauengefängnis, eine Rock-Ikone, die fünf Häftlinge persönlich kennenlernt, und schließlich ein Lied, das von Briefen der inhaftierten Frauen inspiriert ist. Die Regisseure Amy Scott und Brian Morrow nutzen Ausschnitte des Konzerts als Aufhänger, um zu Etheridges Vorbereitungen auf den Auftritt, ihre vorausgegangenen Besuche im Gefängnis und Einzelinterviews zurückzublenden.

Jogginghose, Schlappen und zottelige Haare

Durch schnörkellose Übergänge und verhältnismäßig lange Interviewszenen überlassen sie es den Frauen aus der ­Topeka Correctional Facility, ihre Geschichten selbst zu erzählen. Das gelingt: Ob in Briefen oder vor der Kamera offenbaren viele Frauen einen reflektierten Blick auf sich selbst, berichten von Missbrauch und Drogenkonsum und verarbeiten ihre Vergangenheit teilweise bemerkenswert kunstvoll, wenn sie über Zufluchtsorte schreiben, die nach „Rosen und Kerosin“ riechen, oder über die Sinnhaftigkeit eines Lebens, in dem man „das Undenkbare getan hat“.

The two-parter lasts for around two hours and is pleasantly calm without any great sensationalism. This is largely due to Melissa Etheridge, who is also a co-producer. In front of the camera, she appears in sweatpants, slippers (“You’re not filming my feet, are you? I’m wearing slippers”) and shaggy hair – an absence of vainness that you would be able to consider.

A cautious strategy to habit points

Etheridge, who grew up in Kansas earlier than changing into internationally well-known within the early Nineteen Nineties with songs like “Like The Way I do” and “Come To My Window,” was by no means only a musician, but in addition an activist. She was one of many first ladies to return out publicly at Bill Clinton's inauguration ceremony in 1993 and have become a widely known ladies's rights activist and LGBTQ+ supporter.

The documentary additionally rapidly gives the look that Etheridge is much less involved with the music, her personal particular person or the crimes dedicated by the ladies. Above all, it appears, she desires to attract consideration to the drug habit that connects a lot of the inmates – and not directly additionally Etheridge herself. The singer has spoken a number of instances about her son, who died of an opioid overdose 4 years in the past. In the two-parter, his loss of life is mentioned piece by piece, which gently takes the seriousness out of the subject. At the identical time, it provides Etheridge sufficient area to speak about her grief, her reminiscences and the way she has handled the loss of life of her son.

For followers, primarily a musical deal with

The documentary threatens to disintegrate when it makes an attempt to lift the subjective experiences to a bigger, sociopolitical degree. Etheridge's dedication to the legalization of psychedelics in habit remedy is barely briefly touched upon, and the fascinating however too transient conversations with jail workers and the mayor lack depth.

For followers of Melissa Etheridge, the documentary will primarily be a musical deal with: Old songs like “Into The Dark” sound slightly rougher and extra highly effective within the Topeka Correctional Facility than the studio model, which is especially because of Etheridge's mature voice. A complete of 5 reside songs are proven, and the pure audio recording of the complete live performance is launched concurrently the documentary. It's price watching the efficiency in video format – if solely as a result of Etheridge performs nearly each track on a special guitar. She saves the track she wrote particularly for the live performance till the very finish. This a lot will be revealed: It's not fully freed from screaming.

The documentary “Melissa Etheridge: I'm Not Broken” is airing on Paramount+.

https://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/medien/serien/melissa-etheridge-gibt-konzert-im-gefaengnis-19842209.html