Coming to DVD from directors Bobbie Birleffi, Beverly Kopf and First Run Features comes an insightful look at a woman who decided her own destiny with CHELY WRIGHT: WISH ME AWAY.
This documentary tells the story of country singer Chely Wright whose career began very early in life. From a young age Chely was surrounded by music with piano lessons and singing for the local American legion. She also came from a highly dysfunctional family in the south where things aren’t always as they seem.
Also from an early age Chely knew she was gay but also being from very southern roots and a strong faith this revelation was kept to herself. After high school she moves to Nashville to begin her career as a country music singer. In 1997 she hit the charts with the song “Shut Up and Drive” to be followed in 1999 with her hit “Single White Female”.
But her private life became a shambles. From trying to love to avoiding love, Chely did everything to avoid accepting herself. This three year documentary is in her own words telling the story of how she needed to accept herself before anyone else could or would.
FINAL WORD: I truly believe it is extremely courageous of Chely Wright to document her journey. It is very difficult sometimes to know what the right thing to do is when the choices we make for ourselves affect so many others we love.
Wright not only seeks the counsel of her family but spiritual guidance as well not wanting to give up the faith she holds so strong to. I’ve always known that country music doesn’t always embrace change openly and, like the music itself, has roots in something much deeper than most realize.
But it is important for Wright to be the one to say what is true and what is not. After all this is her life, her journey and breaking down barriers for herself had to be her first priority. I support that whole-heartedly and hope she finds the stillness now that she had been lacking for so long.
This DVD includes the bonus features of Chely at home with her wife, a photo gallery and biographies along with much more.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give CHELY WRIGHT: Wish Me Away three tubs of popcorn out of five. It is an interesting look inside the world of country music from the perspective of a woman who knew what she could and could not do.
I am sure that country music will eventually get over whatever betrayal they are feeling. When I lived in the south I came to realize just as Chely did that there are things people do not speak about let alone make public. It is my sincerest hope that Chely has not only made a dent in the ridiculousness of southern silence but broke a chunk of the wall or two.
In the end – it is about transformational power and living an authentic life.