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Beyonce Presents ‘I Am…World Tour’ Film in New York

Jemal Countess, Getty Images

Beyonce Knowles made an appearance at the School of Visual Arts Theater in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood on Sunday night (Nov. 21) to premiere her ‘I Am…World Tour’ feature film, which will debut on prime time television on Thanksgiving night.

In lieu of a lengthy speech, the songstress gave a quick introduction, revealing that she had been editing the self-directed footage for nine months before she was satisfied. She accepted flowers from members of her “Beyontourage” fan club and immediately took a seat among audience members that included guests like actress/singer Jennifer Hudson.

The 90-minute film, which chronicles the 2009 international ‘I Am…World Tour’ tour, kicked off with footage from Beyonce’s 98th tour performance, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her husband and rapper, Jay-Z joined her onstage to perform their 2003 collaboration ‘Crazy in Love.’ Then the film backtracks as the camera follows Beyonce on her journey through Ethiopia, Indonesia and Toyko — just to name a few countries – as the 29-year-old beauty begins a daily “Day-Z” countdown. The film shows the diva hopping on a 24-hour flight home to spend 48 hours with her husband.

In addition to her battle with homesickness, the well-guarded singer also reveals that one of the most difficult aspects of touring is the feeling of being in a “fishbowl,” which forces her to wear a smile at all times, least her fans mistake her for a “mean person.” Immediately following this tidbit comes one of the film’s most humorous moments: cut to footage of an angry fan, lashing out against B on camera, because she didn’t look in his direction. Minutes later, when she does take a minute to greet him, his rage has melted away into all smiles, “Nice to meet you Beyonce!”

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In between performances of her hit singles like ‘If I Were A Boy’ – which included a medley with Alanis Morissette’s ‘You Oughta Know’ – viewers get glimpses of Beyonce’s childhood from old video footage. The footage transitions from the Texas native dancing up a storm in her childhood home, to sleepless nights on tour where she worries about her health after nine consecutive days of touring, rehearsing and recording.

Despite her struggles, the weariness is never displayed onstage when she glides through Destiny’s Child classics like ‘Bootylicious’ and ‘Survivor’ and commands a guest appearance from Kanye West. For her smash hit song ‘Single Ladies,’ from the ‘I Am…Sasha Fierce’ album, Beyonce’s performance is accompanied by YouTube footage of fans mimicking her moves, and even a quick video clip of President Obama partaking in the fun.

The last few minutes of the film get very sentimental, with a performance of Etta James’ classic ‘At Last,’ set to the backdrop of Civil Rights-era footage, followed by a close-up moment when she admits that her life can be overwhelming, although she is blessed. “I’m grateful,” she says. “I’m alive and I’m living my dreams.” The film’s final performance is the song ‘Halo,’ during which Beyonce pays tribute to the late Michael Jackson, and splices in footage of an old video from the night she attended her first MJ concert as child. And then, just for good measure, the whole production wraps as she throws up the Roc sign and exits the stage.

Beyonce’s ‘I Am…World Tour’ film will premiere on November 25, at 9:30PM on ABC The DVD will be available nationwide on Nov 30.

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