Netflix to drop Britney vs Spears documentary the day before conservatorship hearing. Here's what we know

The #FreeBritney movement is eagerly awaiting the release of Netflix’s new documentary that promises to unveil details about the conservatorship that controls the life of pop star Britney Spears.

The timing of Britney vs Spears comes as the 39-year-old singer attempts to remove herself from the legal binding that gives her father and others control over her $US60 million estate. 

Here’s what we know about the film.

When is Britney vs Spears being released?

Netflix’s documentary Britney vs Spears is being released on Tuesday, September 28 — the day before a hearing that will decide whether to remove her father Jamie Spears from her conservatorship.

The 94-minute film will be released in Australia at 5:00pm (AEST).

What is Britney vs Spears about?

Britney vs Spears is about the conservatorship that has controlled the pop star’s life for more than 13 years.

It is directed by Erin Lee Carr whose work includes the documentaries At The Heart of Gold: Inside The USA Gymnastics Scandal and I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth Vs. Michelle Carter.

Carr and journalist Jenny Eliscu spent two-and-a-half years investigating the legal control people have over Spears and her public and private bids for freedom.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Carr said the documentary would not include the traumatic images that have previously defined Spears.

“I specifically made the creative decision that we were not going to utilise the same imagery that she has said before is traumatising,” Carr said. 

“The incidents that happened in 2007 during one of the episodes at the hospital — you’re never going to see those.”

Is Britney Spears interviewed in the documentary?

No, Britney Spears was not interviewed for the Britney vs Spears documentary, however viewers will hear her speak.

Netflix teased the release of the film with a snippet of a voicemail from Spears to a lawyer just after midnight on January 21, 2009.

“Hi my name is Britney Spears, I called you earlier. I’m calling again because I just wanted to make sure that during the process of eliminating the conservatorship…”.

Carr told the Los Angeles Times that she thinks Spears knows the film exists.

“I sent her a letter and I have reason to believe that she was able to read it. I think she’s focusing on her new beau,” Carr said.

Spears announced earlier this month that she was engaged to long-term boyfriend Sam Asghari.

What will we learn?

In announcing the film’s release, Netflix said Britney vs Spears would include “text messages and a voicemail as well as new interviews with key players make clear what Britney herself has attested”.

This is not the first documentary to examine how Spears has been treated throughout her career.

In February streaming service Hulu released Framing Britney Spears, which sparked a wave of support for the singer as well as backlash at several celebrities’ past treatment and criticism of Spears.

A week after its release, Justin Timberlake, who dated Spears between 1998 and 2002, posted an apology to Spears as well as Janet Jackson for the times his “actions contributed to the problem”.

However, Spears said in a now-deleted Instagram post that after watching parts of Framing Britney Spears she “cried for two weeks” and that she was “embarrassed by the light they put me in”.

Carr said the team behind Britney vs Spears want it to be “the definitive place to understand the beginning, middle and hopefully what we will find out as the end of this saga”.

“If you care about women, you should watch this movie. If you care about mental health, you should watch this movie. If you’re a fan of Britney Spears, you should watch this movie,” Carr told the Los Angeles Times.

Carr, who is a fan of Spears, said she wanted the singer to like the film.

“I would like her to. But I don’t know what it’s like to be her.”


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