By Sara Nigro
“My Mind & Me,” the vulnerable documentary featuring pop sensation Selena Gomez, premiered on AppleTV+ on Nov. 4.
Directed by Alex Keshishian, known for Madonna’s “Truth or Dare,” the documentary follows Gomez over the course of six years.
Filming for over a half a decade, this film allows for an up close and personal insight into the life of the star. Revealing the hard truths of the industry, her emotional and mental turmoil, and narrating with diary entries, Gomez succeeds in creating the most honest celebrity documentary I have ever seen.
The documentary was originally created to film Gomez’s “Revival” Tour, which ran for 55 shows throughout 2016. After canceling the tour due to Gomez’s mental and physical health, the film was put on hold.
The opening scene of the film shows Gomez having a breakdown during rehearsals for her tour, explaining how she doesn’t feel ready or good enough to be performing. Opening the film with such a candid scene gives the audience a sense of what is to come throughout the remainder of the film.
To demonstrate the extreme stress that Gomez was under during this time period, chaotic scenes of her touring and being harassed by the paparazzi are shown in an impressively edited sequence. Following this chaos comes the shock of the tour cancellation announcement.
Through narration from Gomez herself and personal interviews with her close friends and family, they explain how she was contemplating suicide due to her mental health struggles. By 2018, she had gone into a state of psychosis, spending months in a treatment center.
In addition to these mental struggles, over the next couple of years Gomez struggled with her lupus, an autoimmune disease, and had to have a life-saving kidney transplant in 2017.
These struggles are further explained by Gomez and her loved ones as they recount the difficulties faced through emotional retellings.
The documentary picked up filming in 2019 when Gomez requested for Kesishian to film her visit to Kenya as a short video to her website.
As a viewer, this part of the film was the most relaxing to watch as it is when Gomez seems to be the most content and at ease. Despite her love for acting and singing, philanthropy and helping others seems to be her true passion.
This calmness is then contrasted by the chaos and anxiety of the more stressful aspects of her job, meetings with management, traveling, and impersonal interviews.
While Gomez reacts in the film to promoting her projects as a chore that makes her feel cheap, she does give an interview about “My Mind & Me.” Gomez was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone and the magazine features a lengthy interview in which the interviewer, Alex Morris, asks very personal questions, which are met with honest and vulnerable answers.
“I’m going to be very open with everybody about this: I’ve been to four treatment centers,” said Gomez in the interview, explaining her mental health struggles.
Throughout this interview, as well as through the documentary, Gomez focuses on her work as a mental health advocate, opening up about her bipolar diagnosis. She also recently created the Rare Impact Fund, which is raising $100 million to create accessible mental health services.
Her career in the spotlight, her work as a philanthropist and her honesty as a human is demonstrated on the screen during “My Mind & Me.” Despite the polished look that most celebrities uphold, Gomez isn’t afraid to show the uglier parts of struggling with mental health.
While giving insight into her unconventional life, Gomez expresses every issue she struggles with head on, rather than cover up her flaws and insecurities. Her honesty in regards to all aspects of her health and the truth in her diary entries are so rare and real that Gomez proves her vulnerability is a strength rather than a weakness.