Janis, the rock portrait of a Woodstock icon

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin, it is the story of a Texan gal who often had feathers stuck in her wild mane, an icon of the Sixties hippie folly, the most powerful voice of Woodstock (“Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz”, does that ring a bell?), but also a tortured artist, heroin addict, and sadly famous for her memership to the “27 Club”.

In order to update the myth, Arte is broadcasting Janis, a new documentary on the queen of blues and psychedelic soul, directed by the talented Amy Berg (Deliver us from evil, on pedophilia in the  Catholic church, that’s her).

The high point of this documentary: the filmed sequence of her social revenge. During a class reunion, Janis returns as a superstar (but broken, deep down) in front of her school "friends", who persecuted her violently because of her looks. Which goes to show that school bullying remains a lifelong traumatism.

Her incredible artistic rage, her diva whimsies in the studio, or being dropped by a lover scared by her drug addiction (“Men promise more than they want to offer”, she said): it is a very sensitive portrait of Janis who is unveiled through her correspondence with her family, TV sequences and unexpected testimonies from former partners (boys and girl).

And all along the red thread, a sentence she wrote to her parents: "Ambition isn't just a desperate quest for positions or money. It's just love - lots of love."


Janis, a documentary by Amy Berg (2015), on Friday the 5th of January 2018 at 10:25pm on Arte and as replay until the 12th of January 2018.

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