Buffy Sainte-Marie shines despite sabotage in new documentary ‘Carry It On’
“Carry It On” is an HBO/Frontline Films documentary that follows lead singer Buffy Sainte-Marie as she prepares to release her next album. It tracks her rise from the early days of punk to the present, focusing on the creative process, the music and the women behind it.
“Carry It On” was directed by filmmaker Josh Karp and produced by Jane Featherstone and Mike Farrell.
“We think this is a great project to present to our fans,” HBO program executive Sarah Aubrey told MTV News. “It’s a really important book,” she continued. “A documentary has always been a thing for us, but this is a whole different animal. It’s a great documentary, and as much as we like to do the music biopics, we’re really excited to be this far into this project now.”
Karp was inspired to make the film when Buffy and her band found out that their record label was in the process of cutting a deal with a major Hollywood studio for the release of their new album. Karp said that he and featherstone decided to do the documentary because of “how strong and powerful” they felt, and not only that, “to use the music as a weapon,” according to a press release from Karp. It also is to “pursue other topics, ranging from Sainte-Marie’s personal struggles growing up to her career to the culture’s reaction to female musicians.”
The documentary’s working title was “Flesh and the Devil,” but that didn’t quite work for the studio. In fact, “Flesh” was later replaced by “Carry It On” as the album in question.
“I think the most important thing in a documentary is that it’s got to be the story,” Karp explained. “You have to show a story.”
Karp and featherstone began the project with a script that detailed their relationship to the music. The film’s theme of the creative process was inspired.
“Our songs were like our love letters,” Sainte-Marie said in the documentary. “We were trying to get out of our own way and into the music. The lyrics are where the communication was happening.”
Sainte-Marie, who was working on the new album with the band and producer Dave Sharrow (A