Australian Council on Children and the Media

Beyonce: Life Is But A Dream

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Not recommended for children under 13, due to some coarse language and mature themes

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Beyonce: Life Is But A Dream
  • a review of Beyonce: Life Is But A Dream completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 14 May 2013.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under the age of 13 Not recommended due to some coarse language and mature themes
Children over the age of 13 OK with parental guidance

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Beyonce: Life Is But A Dream
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Some coarse language
Length 86 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Beyonce: Life Is But A Dream is an autobiographical film, directed and produced by  well known Beyonce Knowles. The film depicts Beyonce in each of the dynamic roles she fulfils within her life: musician, actress, entrepreneur, as well as a wife and mother. It incorporates extensive first-person footage from professional interviews together with Beyonce speaking directly to her webcam, where she exposes intimate details about her thoughts and feelings to viewers. She reflects on a range of issues including: what it means to live in the public eye as a celebrity; the state of her relationship with her father and their eventual estrangement; her desire to be a mother and the loss she feels after her miscarriage; and her passion for her artistic craft. The documentary also highlights the intense psychological and physical demands of her live performances, and the amount of preparation that goes into running the business that is Beyonce’s music career.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Celebrity and fame, family estrangement and relationships, pregnancy and miscarriage, gender equality.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is no violence of concern in this movie

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

None of concern

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

None of concern

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

None of concern

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

None of concern

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • During one live performance, Beyonce sings lyrics to the song “Make Love To Me”.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including multiple uses of ‘fuck’. Also used are shit, bullshit, pissed off, bitch and mother fucker.

In a nutshell

Beyonce: Life Is But A Dream is an inspirational film that demonstrates how passion and determination can help you overcome obstacles in life. Best suited to those over 13 years (for themes and coarse language).  Beyonce’s musings offers audiences many insights into the things that her experiences have taught her. In discussing her career, she offers advice to girls and women about needing to fight harder to obtain the level of gender equality that they deserve. When reflecting on her miscarriage, she details the gravity of the pain she felt, but also explains she wouldn’t be the person she is without having experienced it. The film ultimately acts as a voice for a strong-willed, successful woman who has lived through far more than most people during her 31 years, and as a result, has learned an incredible amount about life.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Don’t be too hard on yourself – it is better be positive about life
  • Take time to reflect on life
  • Seek help if you are upset or scared ie. don’t pretend that you’re fine when you’re not.
  • A strong worth ethic and personal drive is important to some people
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to other people for help - everyone needs to rely on other people to get through difficult times.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • The difficulties that come with being a celebrity, and the importance of recognising celebrities are human beings that have feelings and emotions like everyone else.
  • The issue of gender inequality, and the impact it has upon many areas of life.
  • Knowing when relationships are destructive or not working, and the sorts of things you can do in these sorts of situations

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