Although it was released in the middle of the year, we did not have the opportunity to see the documentary Love to Love You, Donna Summer, an HBO production directed by Oscar winner Roger Ross Williams and Brooklyn Sudano, one of the three children who is the singer’s girl. . In a linear and unconventional way, although not uninteresting, it tells from the rise to the death of the Queen of Disco, relying on home videos, photos, fragments of concerts and statements from the summer and of those close to him, which fulfills the purpose of announcing, with timely emotional touches, the history of this musical icon who made famous symbols of disco music such as On the Radio, I Feel Love , Hot Stuff and many other hits.
After watching it, we can confirm that despite its narrative simplicity, the documentary more than fulfills its goal: to create an effective sentimental profile combined with good musical moments. It is very honest, sometimes kind and sometimes real and cruel. The difference is always appreciated and there is a lot of it here, because in the end the creators understand that the understanding of a star like Summer is not complete only in his successes, but also in his failures, professional and personal. On the other hand, the directors break down concepts such as fame, eroticism, family and artistry through the voice and thoughts of the protagonist. “When you have worldwide success and it’s a constant thing, you have it all the time. It’s like there’s no rest.” The Boston Panther, as he was also known, never disdained to be seen in public, but he was tired of not spending time and energy on his daughters. Testimonies in this sense, although they are archival recordings, are still effective. Her beautiful image and great stage theatrics made her one of the most popular women in music during the seventies. The film makes a specific picture of life, fame, fall and the way of feeling and thinking of an artist, a mother, a partner, a companion, a partner. Roger Williams, winner of the Oscar for the short Music of Prudence (2010), nominated for the Academy Award in 2017 for Lifetime, Animated and winner of the Emmy in 2020 for The Apollo, as well as Brooklyn Sudano, speaks from Donna’s origins in a church in Boston, Massachusetts, to its worldwide successes and the controversy that some of them have had, such as Love to Love You Baby, which was rejected in many countries because of its eroticism and sexual meaning .
From this approach to the very short existence (she died on May 17, 2012, at the age of 63, due to lung cancer) of LaDonna Adrian Gaines, better known by her stage name Donna Summer, it can be said that although he A serious documentary, which properly honors a famous music star, undoubtedly serves as more reference material and a brief introduction to the life and work of the McArthur Park performer than a colorful landscape scenery.