Australian Council on Children and the Media

Justin Bieber's Believe

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Short takes

May lack interest for under 6s, OK for children above this age.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Justin Bieber's Believe
  • a review of Justin Bieber's Believe completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 28 January 2014.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Not recommended - may lack interest
Children 6 and over OK for this age group, although parents may be concerned about young children seeing Justin Bieber as a role model

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: Justin Bieber's Believe
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 92 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Justin Bieber’s Believe is a concert film that centres on the young musician’s rise to international fame and popularity as he embarks on his latest Believe tour. The film contains a wide array of footage, from on-stage live performance pieces and commercial and personal interviews with Justin Bieber and other important figures in his life (including his mother Pattie Mallette, musical mentor Usher, manager Scott Braun and many others). There are also clips of Justin writing and producing his music, as well as video blog communication between Justin and his fans. As a nineteen-year-old growing up in the media spotlight, Justin uses the film to present his stance on music and his career, relationships, his personal values and life in general.

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.

Passion for music; stardom and the media spotlight

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.

None of concern

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.

Nothing 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.

Nothing 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.

Justin hears about a very young fan of his who is dying of brain cancer – he develops a very close bond with her, spending time with the girl and involving her in one of his shows. The young girl eventually dies, and Justin is moved to tears as he discusses the situation in an interview.

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.

Justin hears about a very young fan of his who is dying of brain cancer – he develops a very close bond with her, spending time with the girl and involving her in one of his shows. The young girl eventually dies, and Justin is moved to tears as he discusses the situation in an interview.

Product placement

Justin Bieber himself is the main product, but also iPhone and Fiji water.

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Use of substances

Nothing of concern

Coarse language

At one point, there is footage of several reporters verbally abusing Justin as he walks past them – their language is bleeped out and no coarse language is actually heard, but Justin discusses the incident.

In a nutshell

Justin Bieber’s Believe is a documentary following a young star trying to grow up with some semblance of normalcy under extraordinary circumstances. The documentary format, featuring a number of interviews, may lack interest for children under six.

Justin discusses the dangers of the music industry, the extremely high expectations he sets for himself and the risk of failure present whenever he makes a life or career-related decision. He maintains that the choices he makes are ultimately for his fans because of their part in his success. Throughout the film, Justin emphasises the importance of trying your hardest, striving for greatness and overcoming obstacles with determination, willpower and the support of others. Much of what he says is in stark contrast to recent events and behaviours in his life and parents may now be concerned about their children seeing him as a role model.

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

  • Always trying your hardest to achieve the things you want in life, and not letting others deter you.
  • Having a social responsibility to produce work that people can relate to, which tells an honest story and can impact the lives of others in a positive way.
  • Not underestimating the impact of the people who helped you make your life what it is.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss the problematic nature of stardom, where privacy is lost and individuals lose the ability to live normal lives. How has this affected Justin Bieber in light of his recent problems as reported by the media?

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