'Made in America' Documentary Showcases Budweiser's Hit Music Festival

By Katlyn Moncada
In Culture
Photo: RadicalMedia / Courtesy of SHOWTIME

Photo: RadicalMedia / Courtesy of SHOWTIME

Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard brings an all-access look into the lives of a melting pot of musicians in a new documentary, “Made in America,” which premiered Friday, Oct. 11, on Showtime.

In 2012, Budweiser spearheaded an idea to bring music and culture together in a music festival called “Made in America.” Grammy Award-winning recording artist Jay-Z curated a diverse lineup of artists for the inaugural Budweiser music festival held in Philadelphia over Labor Day weekend.

While it may seem like an unusual mix of genres, more than 80,000 people gathered to hear music from artists like Skrillex, Pearl Jam and Kanye West, among others, on three stages. Jay-Z makes his message clear in this documented musical journey; music brings people together and it’s an artist’s job to speak what people feel.

This film is more than just a look at a concert made up of big-time artists. Not only does “Made in America” offer a behind-the-scenes look at every aspect of creating the festival, Howard also sheds light on the economic and political struggles America is continuously going through. Jay-Z lets down his walls and gives viewers insight into his life growing up on the streets of Brooklyn. Kansas City’s Janelle Monáe pointed out the struggles she encountered before being able to make a living doing what she loved.

Photo: RadicalMedia / Courtesy of SHOWTIME

Photo: RadicalMedia / Courtesy of SHOWTIME

Howard does well in not only following the stories of the celebrity musicians in the film, but also tends to the voices of the lesser known—including an elderly Philadelphia woman who resides next to the park where the festival is held and a food service vendor who is a single mom trying to provide for her daughter.

The documentary is available through Showtime Anytime or On Demand until Dec. 5.

Recommended Posts