Even people who have closely followed Demi Lovato's life and career will be "blown away" by her upcoming documentary, the film's director says.
Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil will be released in four parts on YouTube later this month. The film contains interviews with the "Sorry Not Sorry" singer, her family and her friends about pivotal moments in her life and personal struggles with addiction, as well as the aftermath of her near-fatal 2018 drug overdose. The director, Michael D. Ratner, told E! News that he thinks the documentary will reveal "a lot that her fans don't know."
"I think she has been really open," he said. "You know, we live in a society where our access to celebrities has never been more direct. But, I think that there are a lot of things. happening in her life that she has to be ready to share, and she's finally using this platform, her platform, the documentary, to share them. You're hard pressed to find a few minute pocket where there isn't some revelation, and raw honesty. So yeah, I think her fans are gonna be pretty blown away and learn a lot."
Even Lovato herself was moved by her own documentary, especially during a key moment showing her at a 2018 performance. "It was really intense, we watched it and about 10 seconds in, she paused it." Ratner told E! News. "We were in a theater and she paused it and she started breaking down."
"She looked at me and, we're in a pandemic, and she looked back and she remembered that time in her life when she was on the road, and I think it brought back so many emotions," he said. "I don't think it was necessarily the concert itself, it just transported her and it's heavy. We finally continued on and, it was amazing to see her watch that and she had physical reactions at times to parts of it, just reliving some of these very heavy moments."
He continued, "And then there were light moments, you know, when she saw some of those other icons pop up on screen and talk about how she touched their lives, it just made her feel so great. So I think she really feels she was heard in this documentary and she feels like, you know, what you see is who she really is and she can live her authentic life now. I don't think this should be thought of a music documentary. I think it is fair to say that this is a human documentary that lives in the world of music."
A trailer for Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil was released last month and contains a particularly shocking moment in which the singer reveals that after her overdose, she suffered three strokes and a heart attack. Also in February, at a Television Critics Association panel event, the star revealed that she sustained brain damage, which still affects her today.
"Everything had to happen in order for me to learn the lessons that I learned," she told reporters. "It was a painful journey, and I look back and sometimes I get sad when I think of the pain that I had to endure to overcome what I have, but I don't regret anything."
Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil premieres worldwide at SXSW on March 16 and will be released on YouTube March 23.