The doc gives a raw and emotionally revealing look into Swift’s life during a transformational period as she learns to embrace her role not only as a songwriter and performer, but also as a woman harnessing the full power of her voice and platform.
Emmy-winner Lana Wilson directed the film, which was produced by Morgan Neville, Caitrin Rogers and Christine O’Malley. Taylor Swift: Miss Americana is a Tremolo Production.
The trailer opens with Swift preparing to perform at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards. “Just gonna go have fun. No one out there that I know of in the audience actively hates me,” she says before leaving her dressing room to take the stage.
Swift next reflects on her career as clips show highlights from past performances and publicity appearances. “Throughout my whole career, label executives would just say, ‘A nice girl doesn’t force their opinions on people. A nice girl smiles and waves and says ‘thank you,”” she says in a voiceover. “I became the person everyone wanted me to be.”
Criticisms of Swift from the media follow, including that she’s too thin, that all of her friends are models and that she dates too much.
The singer later explains that the constant criticisms influenced her to avoid being seen in public for a year. “I had to deconstruct an entire belief system. Toss it out and reject it,” she says.
Swift’s song “Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince” begins to play as she reflects on her time out of the public eye. “It woke me up from constantly feeling like I was fighting for people’s respect,” she says. “It was happiness without anyone else’s input.”
Another clip shows Swift explaining why she chose to become political and endorse two Democratic candidates during the 2018 midterm elections. “I need to be on the right side of history,” she explains.
The doc also gives an inside look at the writing and production process for her 2019 album Lover. One clip shows Swift and Brendon Urie working on their collaboration “ME!,” while a montage follows of Swift on the set of the “You Need to Calm Down” music video and shows her working in the studio.
“I feel really good about not being muzzled anymore and it was my own doing,” Swift later says. “There’s nothing that feels better than this moment.”
Miss Americana will be in select theaters and on Netflix on Jan. 31 after having its world premiere on the opening night of the Sundance Film Festival on Thursday. Watch the full trailer below.