Beyoncé's Homecoming has finally arrived on Netflix, and because Queen Bey is always full of extra treats on occasions like this, she also dropped an accompanying live album, featuring her complete two-hour Coachella set broken down into 40 tracks.
Homecoming documents the creative and physical preparation that went into Beyoncé's groundbreaking 2018 performance at Coachella. In addition to featuring footage of her stage work during the momentous set, her movie also includes candid behind-the-scenes glimpses at the process of formulating her vision and the challenges of executing her homage to the black college experience. From encouraging her dance crew to do better in the early stages to working out her own fitness routine, this process was an immense undertaking for everyone involved.
"It's my first time back home on the stage after giving birth [to twins Rumi and Sir]," she says over footage that shows her beginning to practice new moves with her choreographer. "I'm creating my own homecoming. And it's hard. There were the days that I thought, you know, I would never be the same. I'd never be the same physically. My strength and endurance would never be the same."
Other pieces of personal footage also help to lift the veil on the woman behind all the iconography. In one moment, Beyoncé is FaceTiming husband Jay-Z to show off how her hard work in the gym has paid off, as she can finally fit into her bejeweled gold costume. In another, she sweetly whispers lyrics into Blue Ivy's ears so her daughter can find her own voice, just like her mom.
Overall, Homecoming is a story about how personal Beyoncé's professional triumph was, and reactions to the documentary's release have been equally personal — and overwhelmingly enthusiastic — on social media. Many fans are taking the music icon's rare display of vulnerability to heart.
Hearing Beyoncé struggles with her pregnancy and how hard she worked afterward to get back into shape and give us #beychella is truly inspiring! She is so perfect 🙇 #BeyonceHomecoming #Beychella pic.twitter.com/W4ka1p84W4— Oliver Parker (@OliverParker48) April 17, 2019
Dancing is one of my favorite things to do for joy & to slough off the weight of overwhelming feelings, so I get when Beyonce talks about not feeling like herself and body parts "not connecting" after giving birth. I also lost then gained back that dancing feeling! 🙏🏿 #HOMECOMING— Sandy Alexandre 👩🏿🏫 (@salexandy) April 17, 2019
Me crying seeing how committed @Beyonce is to her career, breastfeeding, losing weight, dieting, learning a whole 2 hour ass show in 8 months RIGHT after she gave birth...amazing, we stan #BeyonceHomecoming #HOMECOMING pic.twitter.com/D7Y3lfW4DV— The 1975 stan (@fwith_myself) April 17, 2019
Bey's strengths are also on display in the documentary, which some viewers say inspires them to get to work achieving their own goals, no matter how lofty or consuming.
Beyoncé's work ethic is unmatched! I'm so inspired! This whole documentary just told me to boss TF up and stop complaining about having so much to do in so little time. #BeyoncéHomecoming pic.twitter.com/v0kPgeWqNJ— Black Khaleesi (@FindsTruth) April 17, 2019
Beyoncé's work ethic really inspires me daily #BeyonceHomeComing— Chantelle (@Chant_ella) April 17, 2019
Currently watching the Homecoming documentary and tell me Beyoncé isn't the best talented performer of this generation and a living Legend who's inspiring many black youths to pursueing their dreams #BeyonceHomecoming #HOMECOMING— . (@letskordeinate) April 17, 2019
Whatever the individual reactions may be, Homecoming is definitely having an impact on audiences already — and that's part of the point. Perhaps the most hard-won aspect of Beyoncé's career is how much her voice matters, and it clearly means a lot to her fans when she lets the Beyhive fly a little closer to her own nest.
Homecoming is available to stream on Netflix now.