Filmed in black-and-white, the word apathy is on the screen. Then, Beyoncé begins to recite lines from Warsan Shire’s poem – “So what are you going to do now that you killed me?…Ashes to ashes, dust to side chicks.” Meanwhile a group of Yoruba people are in a bus, sway in unison and then rotate moving their bodies forward and then back. On the bus, she stares off into the distance, watching the rain fall.
At a southern mansion, a thirtysomething woman (Serena Williams) sashays down the stairs, walks down the hallway and meets Beyoncé, who is sitting on a throne. With her leg over the arm rest, she shrugs. She did what she had to do. The thirtysomething woman swings her hips. She then bounces by Beyonce’s throne. Beyonce studies her movements but doesn’t say a word. She lets her be and grow into herself.
Back on the bus, Beyoncé sits at the front and then follows the Yoruba people’s moves. She then puts her middle fingers up, which they do so, too. Gathering strength from each other, it’s difficult to tell where Beyonce begins and the Yoruba people end. Beyonce hangs onto the pole and then claps her hands. She looks outside the window again, thinking of her husband’s reasons for not being home.
The thirtysomething women stands by Beyoncé, waiting to hear how she’s doing. Beyonce makes a tiny wave. The thirtysomething woman then grinds by the staircase, eyeing the camera, careful that it does not go any further.
With her one leg on the floor and other level to her hip, her moves are clipped and tight. Downcast, she looks at the floor, thinking of all the chaos. She then rolls her head, calm washing over her.
Outside the bus, Beyoncé smiles, knowing the truth. With clenched teeth, she tells her husband to call “Becky with the good hair.”
In May 2014 when Solange Knowles shoved Jay Z in an elevator at the Met Gala, it raised eyebrows. What did Jay Z do that made Solange upset? Divorce rumors swirled and then the following August, after receiving the Video Vanguard award at the VMAS, Beyoncé brought Jay Z and her daughter, Blue with her on stage. Then, it appeared to be calculated and a publicity stunt to bring more attention to the tour.
However, Beyoncé has revealed on her own terms, the infidelity that has happened in her marriage. Her emotions are her own. She’s angry, humiliated and no one is going to tell her to sit down and be polite. She is going to say what she needs to say.
With each video, she peels away more at her public image, expressing her private concerns and beliefs while not exploiting them. She could have kept the infidelity quiet and maintained the image of a perfect family. Most people do this everyday on Facebook. Nonetheless, she addresses the topic head on and brings out the complexities of it.
Directors: Kalil Joseph & Beyoncé Year: 2016
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