‘Framing Britney Spears’ reveals heartbreaking truth

Documentary brings new light to Spears’ life

Free use from Hulu

Free use from Hulu

Gillian Kapinos

Even though I was quite young when Britney Spears was at her height of fame, I can still recall a few times when I saw her on the front page of magazines. This documentary shows a different side to all those tabloid covers — and it’s not a pleasant one.

I first heard about the #FreeBritney movement through TikTok, and I was shocked when I heard what it was about. Britney Spears has been under a conservatorship, also known as legal guardianship, since 2008. A conservatorship is usually placed for people who have trouble making their own decisions, or have dementia. This was implemented by her father, Jamie Spears and her attorney, Andrew Wallet. They called for a temporary conservatorship to be put in place due to her highly publicized mental breakdowns. 

The #FreeBritney movement caught wind quickly, with fans trying to help Spears get out of the conservatorship, which she has publicly said she wished would be over. Fundraisers and protests have been held and it even reached the New York Times.

In response to this, the New York Times produced an episode of their Hulu series, “New York Times Presents,” about the #FreeBritney movement called “Framing Britney Spears.” It brought together people who worked side-by-side with Spears during her fame and people who work to help her now from afar.

I loved this documentary from an informational and knowledgeable perspective. The Times did a quality job at revealing the truth and getting the message across in one episode. Even though the entire idea is upsetting, the documentary is something I would definitely watch over and over again, just to get every last detail. 

Some things that truly struck me were the images and videos. I could confidently say that if what Spears was producing at age 16 came out today, it would not be accepted in the same way as it was then. She was often overly-sexualized, and taken advantage of so many times that it’s shocking she didn’t quit sooner. 

However, the paparazzi made it difficult for her to quit. They followed her everywhere she went and no one helped her. I even recall a heartbreaking image where Spears was crying, her baby in her lap because she tried to hide in a store from the paparazzi, and was laughed at. The paparazzi were, and still are, so very cruel to popular celebrities.

I could go on for ages about this documentary; it’s an insanely saddening story. I feel that sometimes we don’t understand celebrities for what they have to go through, and this story portrays this sentiment perfectly — showing how a young celebrity is driven to madness because her life has been completely corrupted, and people don’t even see it.


“Framing Britney Spears”: ★★★★★