TORONTO – Alanis Morissette dramatically washed her hands of “Jagged,” the new documentary about her life which premiered Tuesday at the Toronto International Film Festival.
“I agreed to participate in an article about the celebration of the 25th anniversary of ‘Jagged Little Pill’ and was interviewed during a very vulnerable time (as I was in the midst of my third postpartum depression during the lockdown), ”the Canadian singer said in a statement hours before the first screening at TIFF.
“I was lulled into a false sense of security and their salacious agenda became evident as soon as I saw the first cut of the film. It was then that I knew that our visions were in fact painfully divergent. This is not the story that I agreed to tell.
Morissette, who did not attend the premiere at the Princess of Wales Theater, went on to say: “In the end, I will not support someone else’s simplistic view of a story that is far too nuanced to read. that he can grasp it or tell it. “
What is odd, however, is that the segments the “You Oughta Know” performer opposes the most – minutes from the documentary – are those that tell in her own words about being sexually exploited. by anonymous figures in the music industry. when she was a teenager. The film is also festive and harmless.
“On some level, I thought it was a dream come true,” says Morissette, 47, in the film of her burgeoning fame. “It is [the] catalyst, start of the life of my dreams. And on the other hand, it was like, where’s my protection? Where is everyone? “
Morissette recalls her painful memories in “Jagged” that everything changed for the worse when she was 15, several years before releasing her flagship album “Jagged Little Pill”.
“Something about my 15th birthday, that’s when I really started getting hit on,” she says. “Twelve, they were a little scared. Thirteen years old they were a little scared, but they still had it, you know. Fourteen less scary, but still scary. Fifteen years old, all bets were off. Somehow it seemed like a safer number for people.
At the time, the age of consent in Canada was 14. However, the singer suggests that the attackers were older men with whom she had a professional relationship and, therefore, were in a position of power over her.
“I just thought it was my fault, because almost everyone I would work with, there would be a turning point where the camera would switch to the Dutch angle,” she says, referring to a camera technique which makes viewers uncomfortable. “And I would just wait for him.
“That would end the relationship, or there would be a big secret that we would keep forever.”
As the doc, directed by Alison Klayman, delves into her #MeToo stories, Morissette tells the director, “I’m going to need some help, because I never talk about this shit.
“There was a lot of shame in having any kind of victimization,” she continues. “And it took years of therapy for me to admit that there had been any victimization on my part. I would always say, “I consented” and then I would be reminded, “Hey, you were 15 years old. You are not consenting at 15 years. “
But today, the recording artist has a clear view of what happened back then: “Now I’m like they’re all pedophiles. All statutory rapes.
“I’m not saying specific information about my experience as a teenager, it was almost just to want to protect. Protect my parents, protect my brothers, protect future partners, protect me, protect my physical safety.
Morissette, however, did not condemn the entire documentary, which also includes her youth, the transition to alternative rock, her instant hit on the charts and the formation of her group.
“There is beauty and elements of correctness in this / my story for sure,” she said.
Klayman told Deadline, “It’s a really hard thing, I think, to see a movie made about yourself.
“I think she’s incredibly brave and the reaction when she saw it was that it really was – she could feel all the work, all the nuances that went into it. And again, she gave so much of her time and so much of her effort to do this and I think the movie really speaks for itself.
“Jagged” premieres on HBO on November 19.