‘I just want my life back’: what we know about Netflix's Britney vs Spears documentary

The new feature focuses on the singer's fight for autonomy and the failings of the legal system

Britney Spears in 2019. Netflix has released a trailer for its new documentary on the pop singer. Reuters
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Netflix has released a trailer for its new Britney Spears documentary, which will air on Tuesday.

The teaser for Britney vs Spears begins with the singer saying: “I just want my life back”. The plea is taken from an audio recording of her June 23 testimony at the Los Angeles Superior Court, where she addressed a judge publicly for the first time.

While Netflix has not revealed who exactly is being featured in the documentary, it says that “journalist Jenny Eliscu and filmmaker Erin Lee Carr investigate Britney Spears's fight for freedom by way of exclusive interviews with former employees, attorneys and more.”

The streaming platform has also pitched Britney vs Spears as a “shocking timeline of old and new players, secret rendezvous and Britney’s behind the scenes fight for her own autonomy… Text messages and a voicemail as well as new interviews with key players make clear what Britney herself has attested: the full story has yet to be told.”

The trailer also claims that the documentary makers were granted access to a confidential report leaked by someone “very close” to the conservatorship.

A day prior to the trailer's release, Netflix shared an audio clip on Twitter in which Spears can be heard leaving a message for her lawyer in 2009.

The Netflix project has been in the works for more than a year and centres on Spears’s conservatorship battle, highlighting the unusual nature of the arrangement. As a legal expert says in the trailer for Britney vs Spears: “I’ve represented dozens of conservatees in court. Not one of them has ever had a job.”

“It’s an epic fail of the legal system that this has gone on so long,” says another.

The trailer points at the financial incentives enjoyed by Jamie Spears and lawyers in maintaining the conservatorship, as Spears is heard saying: “I’ve worked my whole life. I don’t owe these people anything.”

The singer will return to court on Wednesday for one of the most significant hearings in her long-running legal battle, as she continues to fight to be freed from her 13-year conservatorship. During her testimony in June, the singer detailed the level of control she has experienced as a result of the conservatorship, including being prevented from getting married and having a baby by being forced to keep in her IUD birth control device.

“Britney’s never had one person she could trust. Not mom. Not dad,” says one of Spears’s ex-boyfriends, celebrity photographer Adnan Ghalib, in the Netflix trailer.

While the singer hasn’t publicly commented on Netflix’s documentary, she has spoken negatively about the growing number of films being made about her life. “So many documentaries about me this year with other people's takes on my life ... what can I say … I’m deeply flattered! These documentaries are so hypocritical … they criticise the media and then do the same thing,” she wrote in an Instagram post in May 2021.

Updated: September 25, 2021, 7:38 AM