When you think of the word documentary, what comes to mind? For me, it highlights a story that needs to be told to help educate its viewers on a specific topic. There are thousands upon thousands of documentaries released annually, and it’s hard to navigate through the ones that are good or even the ones that will have a lasting impact. Sadly, some get the whole concept wrong by having people who make it about themselves (when they aren’t the subject) or tell a story that alters the course of history.
That said, there is one documentary from this year that stands out amongst the crowd and that will have an impact for years to come: Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me. I never in a million years thought I would write an FYC article about this movie, let alone champion it for years to come, but that is what makes movies so special and unique. I remember seeing it at the 2022 AFI Film Festival and being floored by the film.
I don’t typically love documentaries about stars so early in their careers because so much of their story has yet to happen. However, My Mind and Me stands out because of Gomez’s vulnerability. From the film’s opening moments when Gomez says, “I’ll only tell you my darkest secrets,” to the closing credits, one of the world’s biggest stars shows a vulnerable side of her that will help generations of kids for years to come.
Mental health has a stigma that so many people don’t take very seriously. But as I type this, Selena Gomez has over 400 million followers between Twitter and Instagram. In 2020, the National Institute of Health announced that nearly one in five adults lives with mental illness. So I would imagine there is some overlap between these two groups based on the sheer number of followers and the roughly 52 million people battling poor mental health.
So think for one second that just one or even a thousand people who follow Gomez and watch this documentary realize that one of the most followed celebrities in the world can go through something like this and be willing to be open about it. My Mind and Me will singlehandedly help so many people worldwide to be honest about their struggles.
I understand this isn’t the type of documentary the Academy would even look at and most likely why it was not included on the shortlist, but it should. You won’t find a more powerful, moving, or thought-provoking documentary this year that has a voice and meaning behind it, like My Mind and Me.
Check out our review of Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me.
You can watch the film on Apple TV+ now.