By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

Some people often question why so many celebrities have so many problems and issues when they are obviously successful. What do they have to be sad about? These same people usually forget that celebrities were not always famous and that, regardless of their fame, they are still human with a lot of the same weaknesses and problems that non-celebrities have. SXSW 2021 officially began with a powerful and moving documentary series which candidly reveals the struggles and problems of pop singer Demi Lovato, particularly how she almost lost her life to addiction.

The documentary series details the life and career (so far) of successful pop singer Demi Lovato, and how the trauma of abuse, mixed with the pressures of fame lead her down a path of addiction and self-destruction. Lovato had previously planned to release a documentary a few years ago that would cover her tour in 2018, along with her supposed recovery from addiction. The truth of the matter was that, during this tour, Lovato relapsed into her drug addiction and the documentary would get derailed by a near-fatal overdose. Now that Demi has survived and worked very hard to recover as best as she can from this tragic experience, she is now prepared to tell her story which exposes the roots of her problems which include a history of physical, mental, and sexual abuse which helped push her into a pattern of self-abuse and addiction.

Despite the fact that I have never really followed Demi Lovato’s career, nor have I been a fan of her music, I still found myself moved and affected by this heartbreaking documentary. Lovato has come to a point where she can courageously express her story and all of the horrible things she has gone through. I applaud her courage for revealing details that are not only sad, but are also embarrassing. Director Michael D. Ratner does a great job in presenting this dark, but ultimately inspiring story. I feel that it is an essential documentary series for anyone who has suffered abuse and/or has struggled with any form of addiction. Demi Lovato: Dancing With The Devil is now available on YouTube.

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