THE NEW YORK TIMES PRESENTS: FRAMING BRITNEY SPEARS - A FILMED DOCUMENTARY (2021)

THE NEW YORK TIMES PRESENTS: FRAMING BRITNEY SPEARS - A FILMED DOCUMENTARY (2021)

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Britney Spears hasn’t been able to fully live her own life for 13 years, stuck in a court-sanctioned conservatorship. “Framing Britney Spears,” a documentary by The New York Times, examines what the public might not know about the pop star’s court battle for control of her estate.

“My client has informed me that she is afraid of her father,” Britney Spears’s court-appointed lawyer told a judge in November. “She will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career.”

The career of one of music’s biggest superstars — and her life, in some ways — is at a standstill.

The country was enthralled with Spears in the 1990s as she suddenly ascended to global superstardom. Then the public seemed to relish watching her personal struggles, turning her life into fodder for late-night talk show zingers, sensationalist interviewers and a thriving tabloid magazine industry.

That was a long time ago. These days, Spears is enduring a stranger, and maybe even darker chapter: She lives under a court-sanctioned conservatorship, her rights curtailed. She is not in control of the fortune she earned as a performer.

Spears entered the conservatorship in 2008, at age 26, when her struggles were on public display. Now she is 39, and a growing number of her fans are agitating on her behalf, raising questions about civil liberties while trying to deduce what Spears wants.

The documentary by The New York Times captures what the public might not know about the nature of Spears’s conservatorship and her court battle with her father over who should control her estate.

The documentary features interviews with key insiders, including a lifelong family friend who traveled alongside Spears for much of her career; the marketing executive who originally created Spears’s image; a lawyer currently working on the conservatorship and the lawyer Spears tried to hire in the early days of the conservatorship to challenge her father.

The film also explores the fervent fan base that is convinced Spears should be liberated from the conservatorship, and re-examines the media’s handling of one of the biggest pop stars of all time. (01:14:28)

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