Chely Wright: Wish Me Away
The relationship between country musicians and their fan base is intense and loyal, with fans responding to personal songs that echo their lives. Like Me, the title of Chely Wright’s memoir, reflects that mutual identification (she is them, they are her). But Wright’s revelation that she’s gay is considered a “betrayal” by country music’s conservative Christian core, making her more like the Dixie Chicks than k.d. lang. Before the book and her album Lifted Off the Ground hit stores, Chely Wright underwent a coming out boot camp to prepare her for the media blitz. Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf turn that experience into a defiantly optimistic documentary, even when the people-pleasing Wright debates her decision in tear-filled confessions. The successful singer, who’d cultivated a glamorous image, is unafraid to face the camera with raw, ugly emotions. Wish Me Away is most revealing when it counters Nashville’s manufactured intimacy with an insider’s hard won honesty.
Review by Serena Donadoni
Released on June 15, 2012
Originally appeared in Indiewire.