On the one-year anniversary her excellent, inspiring and career-shifting Rainbow album, Kesha has released the documentary short Rainbow: The Film exclusively on Apple.
Combining real-life footage and scripted segments that meld her music with striking imagery (Kesha pulling a keyboard out a swamp, Kesha drowning) to metaphorically convey her struggles over the last five years, it’s an arresting thirty minutes. But the most memorable part is assuredly the revealing pre-Grammys footage, where the pop survivor bravely pulls back the curtain on an emotional crisis confidence prior to what turned out to be a show-stealing performance “Praying” at the 2017 Grammy Awards.
Rainbow: The Film shows footage from over the course the three days leading up to the awards show, where Kesha and her vocal coach go through technical and psychological preparation for delivering a highly personal song in front the world. At one point, we see Kesha (who, unlike most pop stars, isn’t afraid to let us see her entirely sans makeup) begin to cry during her rehearsal; her coach, family and singers all provide support throughout, with her vocal coach in particular fering some sage advice in one scene. He points out the lyric in “Praying” “I can make it on my own” has already come to fruition — she released a No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 to critical acclaim, and she’s performing the lead single at the Grammys. He makes her repeat that line over and over until she truly feels it, helping her to regain some her confidence with a lyric she herself wrote.
Following a screening at NYC’s Metrograph on Thursday (Aug. 9), co-directors Kesha and her brother Lagan Sebert (Kevin Hayden also directed) made a surprise appearance to an audience full fans, who cheered and lavished her with praise (“thank you for being brave” one woman shouted out). For her part, Kesha thanked her Animals for simply “giving a fuck.”