By Sara Nigro
“Pamela, A Love Story,” the new Netflix documentary detailing the life of actress and model Pamela Anderson, was released on Jan. 31.
Directed by Ryan White (“The Case Against 8”), the documentary features Anderson herself, as well as her two sons Brandon and Dylan Lee, in an intimate interview style documentary. Filmed over the course of a year and a half, Anderson utilizes her own home videos, archival footage and personal diaries found in journals and yellow legal pads.
Known for her covers on Playboy and her role as “C.J. Parker” in the TV show “Baywatch,” Anderson rose to fame at a young age. She became known as a blonde bombshell, a woman with the sex appeal of Marilyn Monroe decades later, during the 90’s and early 2000’s.
Throughout the entirety of the film, her vulnerability is put on display, no secrets amongst the viewer and the star. She brings her own strength and transparency to tell a story that has never been heard before.
She takes the audience through the trajectory of her life, from the trauma and abuse she experienced as a young child in Canada to her big break in Hollywood to the quiet life she lives now with her family.
As Anderson explains the step by step process of the growth of her career in the modeling and acting industry, she reveals a light and charming personality that makes you root for her despite any previous notions.
After the more lighthearted stories, Anderson tells her perspective on what has come to define her career and her life: an infamous sex tape.
In the beginning of the internet's popularity, private footage of her and her boyfriend at the time, Tommy Lee (drummer of Motley Crue), was released. Anderson details the trauma that she continues to have in regards to the breach of privacy and the humiliation that came with the release of the stolen tape.
Her story about the moment that changed her life is focused on the importance of consent and family as she explains the intertwining of lawsuits, pregnancy and exploitation. It offers more depth than has been expected of her as she often falls into the “dumb blonde” role as a public figure.
As a result of her crazy and spectacular lifestyle, Anderson and Lee have ended up being topics of interest most recently resulting in the Hulu mini-series, “Pam and Tommy.”
The show was released during the filming of the documentary, and Anderson reveals how traumatized she feels from reliving the time in her life that has come to define her as a public figure. In a Business Insider article, White explains that the release of “Pam and Tommy” “traumatized her for months.”
Nearing the end of the film, Anderson has some revelations that she shares in the most vulnerable way: a voicemail from her bathtub. She reflects upon the most impactful relationship she’s ever experienced and the love she had for her former husband.
“I think I’d rather be alone than not be with the father of my kids,” Anderson said. “It’s impossible to be with anybody else. But I don’t think I could be with Tommy either. It’s almost like a punishment.”
Anderson, now 55, concludes the documentary demonstrating her personal growth and the uncertainty in her adventure. Footage from her recent stint as “Roxie” in the classic musical “Chicago” proves her openness to trying anything and everything despite all fear and uncertainty.
The ending to the film ties all of the loose strands together, following a traditional and satisfying story arc. Anderson reveals herself to be a generous, adventurous woman who hasn’t quite figured out the complications of life and love.