American Symphony is a documentary directed by Matthew Heineman that narrates the personal life of singer and composer Jon Batista, who shares his life with his wife, Suleika Jaouad, who suffers from leukemia.
In 2022, Jon Batiste unveiled a new symphony to the world. It was performed once, at New York’s Carnegie Hall. A bold composition of 40 minutes and four movements that blended classical and modern music, drawing inspiration from diverse sources.
This documentary delves into Batiste’s personal life, revealing a different side to the smiling, rhythm-filled performer seen on stage. Despite the challenges he faced, such as his wife battling leukemia while he composed this ambitious musical piece, Batiste opens up and shares his story with profound sincerity.
Unlike other documentaries that often feel contrived, “American Symphony” exudes authenticity. It captures the intimate love story between writer Suleika Jaouad and musician Jon Batiste, exploring their private lives and deepest emotions. The film offers a glimpse into their personal sphere, beyond what the cameras typically capture.
Thanks to the collaboration between the filmmaker and the subjects, Netflix manages to penetrate their private and personal world. While it briefly touches on their respective careers, the focus lies on their personal experiences, making this documentary exceptionally intimate.
Filmed with handheld cameras and an evident sense of kinship, the success of this documentary lies not only in the expertise of the filmmakers but also in the closeness between the artists and the writer. This allows viewers to gain access to their lives beyond what typical celebrity documentaries offer.
Overall, “American Symphony” is an essential piece for those wanting to get to know Jon Batiste, his music, and his personal journey. It is a heartwarming tale that goes beyond music and speaks to the symphony that can dispel sadness and bring joy to life.
Sit back, enjoy, and savor this worthwhile documentary.
November 29, 2023
Where to Watch “American Symphony”
Original Title: American Symphony
Duration: 104 min.
Country: United States
Director: Matthew Heineman
Music: Jon Batiste
Cinematography: Tony Hardmon, Matthew Heineman, Clair Popkin, Thorsten Thielow
Companies: Higher Ground Productions, Mercury Studios, Our Time Projects, Netflix
About Jon Batiste
Jon Batiste is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, composer, and television personality. With a career spanning over two decades, Batiste has made a significant impact in the world of music and entertainment. From his early days as a prodigious young talent to his current role as a celebrated artist, Batiste’s journey is nothing short of remarkable. Read more