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The Madg-ificent Premiere of Madonna’s ‘I Am Because We Are’

posted by Kris Rasmussen

madonnapicforic.jpgYes, almost the entire pop culture world turned its eyes last Saturday might to…Traverse City, Michigan as Madonna came to town to screen her documentary “I Am Because We Are.” That might be a slight exaggeration but it certainly didn’t feel like that as I stood in line with a bunch of Madonna fans to attend a rare screening– it’s only played at the Tribeca Film Festival before this– of the film at the Traverse City Film Festival.
As I stood in line with people from as far away as Chicago, I began to wish I had not agreed to write about the event for Idol Chatter, but instead had sold my tickets–which I won in a lottery drawing for supporters of the festival–on Ebay, as some people did. (I’m college-educated, but I never said I was smart.)
Still my friend and I made the best of it as we attended northern Michigan’s version of a red carpet event: In other words, Madonna didn’t arrive in a limo, but in a black SUV. The red carpet was actually about 50 feet long max. And Michael Moore still didn’t change out of his usually grubby shorts, shirt and baseball cap to pose for photos with the Material Girl.
Okay, Madonna fans, I will start with some juicy details that have nothing to do with the movie.


As you might expect, Madonna brought quite the entourage with her, and they basically took up the entire back row of the theater and then some. Her beautiful daughter Lourdes was with her, and contrary to the Associated Press reports, my friend and I were pretty sure we saw Guy Ritchie there as well, just not on the red carpet. Also, do I dare mention that the average age of the people there to see Madonna was, um, much older than I thought it would be?!
Madonna and Moore were actually pretty funny as they introduced the film. Moore told a story about being at a party at Madonna’s New York apartment on his birthday and she surprised him with a cake. He also joked with her, asking when was the last time she had played in a venue that could only seat a little over 500 people (the size of the theater we were in) and she shot back, “1982.” Madonna also joked about Moore’s lack of dancing ability at the previously mentioned party and hinted at her brother’s recent memoir about her when she referenced vacationing in northern Michigan in her youth with her big family– some of whom were crazier than others.
The documentary itself was okay, definitely not groundbreaking, and at moments felt pretentious, like every time Madonna did a long, long voiceover to the action on the screen. The movie is basically just a bunch of interviews she did with orphans on her trips to Malawi before and after the adoption of her son from there. She also interviews world leaders on the AIDS crisis and talks about the lessons she learned during her visits to Malawi. Overall, I think the intention of the movie was sincere, and there probably were younger Madonna fans in the audience who still may not be aware of the ongoing epidemic of AIDS in Africa.
The evening ended not with a Q & A session as audience members had hoped, but with a conversation between Madonna and Michael Moore and the director of the film who was once Madonna’s gardener and nanny. Let me recreate that conversation with my own dramatic interpretation– just know that the scene actually went on much longer in real life.
Moore: You’re so great.
Madonna: No, you are.
Moore: No, you are. The media are just so horrible to you.
Madonna: I know, but they are so much meaner to you.
Moore: You’re right, they are. But you’re my hero.
Madonna: No, you’re my hero.
Director/former gardener and nanny: I realize no one cares what I think, so I’ll just stand here.
End scene. No substantive dialogue about the heartbreaking issues of the film whatsoever.
But maybe I am expecting too much out of one evening.
The event raised money to help those in Malawi, and I have some great stories to tell, which is almost as good as pocketing some cold, hard cash for those tickets. Almost.



  • markie

    you wish you have done as much or humanity.

  • Anonymous

    Madonna is a narcissistic hack.
    Bono is the only celebrity whose sincerity can be taken seriously in these matters.
    Madonna will always be the Material Girl with no soul.

  • Charm

    I don’t think any celebrity’s sincerity can be taken seriously when it comes to a free photo op.
    Just sing/dance/or entertain in whatever way you are paid to do so. That’s where you can do the most good. Leave the world issues to the people who are qualified to speak on them. Driving around a war torn and disease ridden country in your air conditioned SUV doesn’t make you an expert.

  • treneeds1

    I am 36 and yes I did wear neon lace scarves and danced while watching videos (when you actually could watch videos on vh1, and Mtv) yes…like a virgin (well, because I was one! lol) and I’m keepin my Baby…sad yet sent a message out that was a young person making the decision to love and grow up…thus taking responsibility for her actions) Material girl wasn’t meant to be narcisist..I do believe it was for entertainment purposes…her job) Madonna is a positive role model..yes she went through the times adjusting her content to the ways society had changed over the years. I mean really look at it like an investor, it is his job to encourage investors to invest in new companies that may take off thus the concept buy low, sell high! As society changes most careers should too, just as madonna. yes I agree there were some videos I am glad my young child hasn’t seen, although madonna does have emotional content and she has sustained though out time. She is a very good business woman and her voice is amazing…yes I would like her to be more spiritual in her musical expression, but come on…she has to fit in with the times and I feel like she does and has toned down the sexual inuindow type songs since she has studied religeous cultures and prayer. Motherhood also has an effect on her style and content. I respect her, the media only wants to reveal negativity…not the good things she does and the way she really is. PR…is very important to flow with the times…it is necesary. She loves her mothering, she is spirtual, and creatively expressing herself in a way that will sell albums (that’s the nature of the beast that has made her the wealthy woman she has become) I do not resent her…I mean really look at the defense attouneys who show up on church after lowering the sentences of rapists, child molestors, and drug dealers…ect. It is there career, but I do not think it is chistian behavior to judge…it is gods job. Not ours! Many careers that provide viable incomes are not “christian based” or reflective of a good christain or spritually in tune life…it is conflicting, but non the less it is their career. She is not evil or nons-spiritual because of lyrics, it is her job to sell music, concert tickets and yes she is an icon for women like myself who grew up with her. Let her have a peaceful life…that tiger woman desrves it whether she chose christian music or not to express her talent and make money. She is intelligent in the allowance of vesitility through out time. Her private life should be private, her music must change with the times to remain productive…as may other careers. I respect her for enduring all of the negative judgements, and assumptions on how she lives her life. That is none of our business…we are not judge or jury. Love and except and respecting her achievements and studying the Kabala for spiritual enlightenment would be the best way to reflect chistian behavior…no argument about it! Just think how much better if the world would take a more positive approach to life and reporting, cunducting business, and interactions with others. Negative spreads like wild fire and positive does as well. I do not need to hear about the gossip that is mostly embellished to sell magazines and news papers…they are like having a recipe for bread and flour and yeast is not listed. She is an Icon like it or not and there is much more positive aspects to this tycoon of my life…it is just left out mostly for disgusting glutten of the all mighty dollar. I believe she is a wonderful person, and I wish her health and happiness!

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