I Am: Celine Dion – Prime Video’s Thoughtful, Visceral Documentary Gives Celine Dion Her Voice Back


  • I Am is a deeply emotional documentary that emphasizes Celine Dion’s vulnerability and perseverance through her battle with stiff-person syndrome.
  • Director Irene Taylor maintains intimacy and focus when exploring the renowned singer’s journey back to her full vocal range.
  • While limited to Dion’s perspective, the film is a riveting and compelling snapshot of a superstar’s humanity beyond the concert lights.

Celine Dion’s voice has always been a powerhouse. Even those who aren’t overly familiar with every one of Dion’s songs know the range of her voice and the strength behind it, how seamlessly it moves from one note to the other. I Am: Celine Dion, the documentary directed by Irene Taylor, highlights the esteemed singer’s vocals as though it were a character unto itself. Dion, who was diagnosed with the neurological disorder of stiff-person syndrome, struggles with her diagnosis and what it means for her singing.

While I Am could’ve easily been an overly indulgent documentary, Taylor keeps things grounded, never losing sight of Dion’s SPS and the powerful instrument that is her voice. The film often juxtaposes the two, as the renowned vocalist’s step towards recuperation centers on her return to full vocal range. The Prime Video film touches on Dion’s early days and family life and a couple of her collaborations, including one with John Farnham, but while it’s primarily occupied with Dion’s relationship to her own voice, Taylor, above all else, reminds us just how human such a superstar can be.

Celine Dion Documentary Is Deeply Emotional

Who is Celine Dion without her voice? It’s a question the singer herself ponders for a moment, as she explains how her voice is her North Star, guiding her on this journey full of music and fame. While other documentaries about singers have been shallow, I Am is vulnerable and intimate in its exploration of Dion’s battle with SPS. She talks candidly about her diagnosis and her attachment to performing. When she cried about how long it was since she properly sang, or during her explanation about having to cancel her concerts, I understood the depth of her pain.

Taylor is able to get Dion to lay bare the parts of her life she kept private for a long time, but also to share her love of performing, calling her voice a joy. I’ve enjoyed Dion’s music since the ‘90s, and watching I Am proved a bit difficult simply because the SPS took away some of the shine I’ve become so accustomed to when engaging with her music. That’s clear throughout the film, but so is Dion’s determination to continue fighting to get back some semblance of her voice so she can return to doing what she loves most.

The film’s ending may not have the answers to when Dion will make her comeback, but her perseverance is unwavering, and it’ll make everyone appreciate her as more than just a voice.

If anything, I Am: Celine Dion is sobering. This is not a film about the rise of a pop star, with its bright lights, flattery about her gifts, and discussion of stardom. Beyond the concert footage — which is excellently interspersed with scenes of Dion speaking to the camera about her experiences — the film underscores a vulnerability that is almost too intimate to watch at times.

Dion allows the cameras to stay while she suffers through a hard-to-watch spasm, unable to move or speak. It was a moment that made me marvel at her strength and resolve. Such moments are thankfully few, as Taylor’s intention is not for us to watch Dion be in physical pain just for the hell of it. It’s through her own words and terms that Dion’s pain is expressed, and it grounds the film as Taylor explores the larger-than-life singer’s humanity beyond the concert lights.

I Am: Celine Dion Needed More Input From The Singer’s Inner Circle

While I Am is riveting and a worthy addition to Prime Video’s documentaries, it’s also limited to Dion’s perspective. She is the only one who speaks to Taylor directly, a request that Dion made to the filmmaker herself. Perhaps the lack of control over her body inspired the singer to be the only one to speak about her experience, but I couldn’t help but wonder how much stronger a film the documentary would’ve been had others in Dion’s inner circle shared their input.

We see everyone from her twin sons to her physical therapist, but we don’t hear from any of them. It’s very insular in that way. The documentary could have been expanded upon with more interviews, creating a more layered viewing experience. But that’s a minor nitpick in an otherwise solid outing that truly captures the emotional rollercoaster Dion’s been on since her diagnosis.

She gets to speak about what she’s been through the last few years in her own words, as Taylor spotlights a singer who is going through something very human while trying to keep hope alive regarding the return of her singing voice. To that end, I Am: Celion Dion is a compelling and engaging snapshot, a visceral experience that is worth watching, especially for fans. The film’s ending may not have the answers to when Dion will make her comeback, but her perseverance is unwavering, and it’ll make everyone appreciate her as more than just a voice.

I Am: Celine Dion is now streaming on Prime Video. The film is rated PG for thematic material and brief smoking images.

I Am_ Celine Dion (2024) - Poster - Celine dion

Following the journey of global music icon Celine Dion, the film explores her rise from humble beginnings to international stardom. Through personal interviews and archival footage, viewers gain insight into her extraordinary career, the challenges she faced, and her enduring impact on the music industry.


  • I Am: Celine Dion is an inspiration documentary
  • Irene Taylor treats the singer like a person and brings an intimacy to her story
  • The documentary has a strong focus and is deeply emotional
  • I Am is grounded and compelling

  • More input from others besides Celine Dion would’ve added to an already strong film

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