If you’re a fan of Alanis Morissette and you’ve been looking forward to the HBO documentary film Jagged about her life and career, then you oughta know the subject of the documentary is speaking up and she isn’t happy.
Per IndieWire, Jagged — directed by acclaimed documentarian Alison Klayman — made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on Monday. We learned over the weekend that Alanis Morissette was refusing to attend the premiere, but with no firm word as to why. We have a little bit more information today thanks to Morissette’s official statement (via the LA Times), though we’re still shy a lot of details.
In her statement, Alanis Morissette claims she was taken advantage of by the Jagged filmmakers at the worst possible time — while she was suffering from her “third postpartum depression during lockdown.” She said she’d been made to believe the intention of the documentary was to celebrate the 25th anniversary of her award-winning album Jagged Little Pill. Morissette said she had been made to trust someone — presumably Jagged‘s director Klayman — who had proven untrustworthy, and said that the documentary implies some falsehoods, while blatantly lying in other cases.
So far, Klayman hasn’t responded to Alanis Morissette’s allegations. Before the singer’s statement was released, Klayman spoke to Deadline at TIFF and responded to Morissette’s absence, saying she was sorry the singer couldn’t make it but was nonetheless “so grateful for the time” she’d devoted to Jagged.
Alanis Morissette wasn’t specific about what it was in Jagged that upset her. Most reviews of the film give a snapshot of a documentary that paints a largely glowing picture of its subject. In fact, IndieWire‘s take on the doc calls it “too-tame” and says Jagged has a “glossier-than-necessary veneer.”
Considering her statement about the documentary refers to what she calls its “salacious agenda,” it seems likely that Alanis Morissette’s issues with Jagged stem from its covering of the sexual abuse older men allegedly subjected her to. The film includes Morissette being more candid than usual about multiple instances of what she labels as “statutory rape” from when she was 15 years old. She goes on to say she wasn’t silent about the events, but that her words “kind of fell on deaf ears.”
Jagged isn’t the first time Alanis Morissette has spoken about the sexual abuse she endured. In particular, it’s referenced in her Jagged Little Pill stage musical. So if the doc’s handling of that subject is at the core of her objections, then it’s likely we’ll have to wait to see if/when the singer speaks publicly about exactly what Jagged does wrong.
In the meantime, if you’d like to see Jagged to judge the documentary about Alanis Morissette for yourself, the film is set to premiere on HBO on Friday, November 19.
If you want to see Alanis Morissette in the flesh and you happen to be in Europe, she’s currently on the The 25th Anniversary Jagged Little Pill Tour joined by special guests Garbage and singer/songwriter Cat Power. Starting with her Friday, October 28 show in Hamburg, Germany; Garbage and Cat Power will be replaced with Liz Phair.