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Beyoncé the Creator: ‘Homecoming’ Review

The “intimate” and “candid” moments touted by Netflix are brief in comparison, appearing between long, uninterrupted musical segments from the show. Those moments will be enough to satisfy the overzealous Beyhive (though what Beyoncé-related content doesn’t satisfy the Beyhive?) and probably more casual fans and admirers, too. Montages reveal footage of the rehearsal process; performers practice, smile, make funny faces at the camera, gush about the experience of working on such a momentous event with perhaps the biggest star in the world. There are cameos from Jay-Z and their eldest daughter, Blue Ivy, who sings “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

[Read the 5 things we learned from “Homecoming” about Beyoncé’s Coachella triumph.]

There’s Beyoncé, in voice-over (which is mostly how we hear her voice in these segments), talking about trying to balance family and getting in shape after the birth of her twins. (Her diet, which she describes as no bread, carbs, dairy, sugar, meat, fish or alcohol … sounds extreme and not at all fun.)

As with the film “Lemonade,” which included a Malcolm X audio clip, the singer puts herself directly in conversation with voices from black American history. The sage words of Maya Angelou, Audre Lorde, W.E.B. DuBois, Toni Morrison and others sprinkle “Homecoming” with inspiration. The overarching theme here is ostensibly education: Beyoncé schools her audience on the beauty of black culture, yes, but also on the importance of preserving and encouraging the legacy of historically black colleges and universities, which she stresses throughout the film.

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