Alanis Morissette. Heralbum Jagged Little Pill is practically synonymous with the 90s. And so many of us can’t help but remember where we were when we heard it, bought it, played it over and over.
Critics talked about how angry it sounded, while I remember thinking how human it sounded, how relatable, and how it could be empowering. This was an album that I would crank and sing along with and embrace.
Alison Klayman’s documentary, Jagged, does the same thing for me (and yes I sang along). Guiding us to the events that led to the creation of the album, its release and its impact on Alanis and the world.
Morissette is candid and upfront about her life at the time, and recounts positive and negative experiences in equal measure illustrating the troubling world of music producers and executives, the image that they feel is needed to sell a product and the advantage that some of them take of their prey, sorry, clients.
And yes, Morissette prevailed, giving voice to people the world over with songs that would become anthems of empowerment, and resonate with raw emotion, angry, sad, humorous and hopeful.
They touch on harsh subjects, statutory rape, gatekeepers, and mental health issues. Through it all Klayman and Morissette guide us, keeping us safe like a hand in my pocket.
Present day interviews intercut with concert footage, world travel, 90s era photo calls and chats, all to give us a look at a woman, her lyrics and a voice, all of which are just as important today, if not more so, than when the album was first released in 1995.
Jagged screens at TIFF Tuesday and Wednesday in person and Wednesday digitally.