Global streaming giant Netflix released Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé today (April 17), which sees Beyoncé Knowles-Carter playing dual roles as director of the featured performance and the film that documents it.
Homecoming presents Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella set (pictured), which paid homage to America’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), combining concert performances with vérité footage and interviews detailing the work and preparation that went into the performance.
The film was shot over eight months, chronicling the global superstar’s return to the stage after the birth of her twins as the first black woman to headline the massive California-set music and arts festival. Homecoming recognizes the African American visionaries who inspired Beyoncé, including HBCU alums Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, activist Marian Wright Edelman and scholar W.E.B. Du Bois, in addition to cultural icons including Nina Simone, Maya Angelou, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Audre Lorde.
The film’s credits include a recording by Beyoncé of “Before I Let Go” by Frankie Beverly and Maze, a 1981 R&B classic commonly performed at HBCU games.
Homecoming, from Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment, was directed and produced by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, with Ed Burke serving as co-director. Steve Pamon and Erinn Williams are executive producers.
“It was one of the hardest jobs I have taken on but I knew that I had to push myself and my team to go beyond great to legendary,” said Beyoncé in a statement. “We knew nothing like this was ever done on a festival level before and it needed to be iconic beyond compare. The performance was an homage to an important part of African American culture. It had to be true to those who know and entertaining and enlightening to those who needed to learn. In making the film and re-telling the story, the purpose remained the same.”
“So many people who are culturally aware and intellectually sound are graduates from historically black colleges and universities, including my father,” she says in the film. “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”
Watch the trailer for Homecoming below: