Direction: Paulo Cesar Toledo, Abigail Spindel | 71 minutes | documentary | Featuring: Charles Angels, Bruno Brunet, Rick Caled, Richard Carter, Gabriela Electra, Diego Lima, Vítor Lopes, Junnior Martins, Melina McLean, Rogério Sousa
You have pop concerts and you have social gatherings where you have the feeling of being immersed in a warm bath even before the show starts. These are concerts by artists where the fan base only consists of like-minded people, people you can almost count as part of your family. Fandom is an interesting phenomenon that has been discussed in several films. This makes sense, because there is at the same time something touching as something fascinating about being completely absorbed in an idol, film series or game. “Waiting for B.” is about a specific group of Beyoncé fans.
Two months before Beyoncé performs at the Morumbi Stadium in São Paulo in September 2013, tents will be erected in front of the entrance. The price for an “early entry” is USD 700, but you can also just make sure you are at the front of the queue. Countless Brazilian Beyoncé fans camp in front of the stadium to ensure a good place right in front of the podium. With ‘Waiting for B.’ filmmakers Paulo Cesar Toledo and Abigail Spindel show a portrait of this group of Queen B fans. The young people, who don’t really know each other, share joys and sorrows in the tents, adhere to strict rules (“if you have no proof of a doctor’s visit, you have to close again ”) and show in front of the camera what Beyoncé means to them.
The great thing about “Waiting for B.” is that while Brazilian fans – largely gay – go above and beyond the average concertgoer for a good view of the stage, they are not uncritical of the singer. Comparisons are made with Michael Jackson’s wanting to be white (“Beyoncé is blonde, because she wants to show that every black woman can be just as beautiful as any white woman”) and complaints about Bey never reaching out with fans (“You must have cancer, you want to get a message from her”). But of course there is also room for singing and dancing, and we follow Gabrielle, among others, who is in a Beyoncé cover band (“my costume is the prettiest in town, we glued the stones on it piece by piece”). There is a lot of room for humor, because the fans themselves realize how bizarre what they do is. But “Waiting for B.” goes beyond simply depicting the dedication of the fans and shows a nice cross-section of São Paulo’s poorest population and the problems (discrimination, prejudice, poverty) they face in their daily lives. Very nice documentary.