In Accountability, Beyoncé reflected on her upbringing, specifically her relationship with her gun-wielding, whiskey drinking, cowboy type father figure. Left, a young girl rides a horse accompanied by an adult male, juxtaposed with Beyoncé riding her own horse with a male companion trailing behind (right). These consecutive shots imply the passing of time, her connection to her roots, as well as her growing independence.
In the above consecutive shots, the masculine posturing, stoicism and aggression compared via quick cut to a caring father lifting a young daughter into his arms depicts her father has been socialized as many men are: to be a strong, powerful protector who shows no sign of weakness.
If it wasn’t before, it is obvious now that the aggression, violence, and retributive justice model Beyoncé displayed in the first half of the film have been established as learned behaviors passed down from her father.
CH. 7 – REFORMATION
“I began to search for deeper meaning when life began to teach me lessons I didn’t know I needed.”Beyoncé in ELLE, December 2019
Beyoncé in an empty Mercedez-Benz Superdome, home to the New Orleans Saints NFL football team. Lying in the fetal position, wearing a white lace dress, she rests her head on her elbow, visibly despondent, clutching her stomach.
Compare Beyoncé’s pose on the field at the Superdome to her in the chapter “Emptiness” (left) and again here in “Reformation” (right). Her grief and emptiness have carried on into a third consecutive chapter, where she will seek to restore and reform her relationship.
Beyoncé’s wedding ring returns to her hand, a reversal of the gesture we saw in the chapter “Anger;” right, a woman on the porch of Madewood plantation waits for someone to “come home.”
Beyoncé peers through the window to reveal a white picket fence gate and a bright white sky above it; this gate at once potentially symbolizes the “Pearly Gates,” the entryway to heaven, but also the “white picket fence” synonymous with the “American Dream.”
The same gate from the opposite perspective (courtesy of Splendid Market); given that this is the gate surrounding Madewood Plantation, the implication is the historical exclusion of African Americans from the “American Dream.”Continue reading “Ch. 7 – Reformation (Love Drought)”