Brooke Shields

There have been some fascinating documentaries recently on celebrities and celebrity culture, like Harry & Meghan, Pamela: A Love Story and House of Hammer. Hulu has developed a new two-part documentary Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields. Charting the life of the child model and actress, and the exploitation and sexualisation she endured in Hollywood and in the media since she was a young girl. Shields is interviewed and recounts how she began to find her voice and become her own person away from the industry’s toxic culture.

Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields is directed by the Emmy-winning Lana Wilson, who previously directed The Departure and Taylor Swift documentary Miss Americana, and debuted to praise and acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Shields rose to international fame in 1978 with the release of Pretty Baby, which saw her play a 12-year-old girl raised in a brothel in New Orleans. She also worked as a child model, becoming increasingly sexualised even while still a child, appearing on the front cover of Vogue and appearing in a controversial Calvin Klein ad campaign. In the documentary, Shields looks back on these experiences as an adult decades later, and criticises a society and media landscape that allowed young girls to be sexualised, and continues to an extent even to this day.


There’s plenty of time given for Shields to speak in her own words, as she opens up about rape and postpartum depression. The actress stated that she didn’t want creative control over the project, instead entrusting Wilson to tell help tell her story in a way that shines a light on toxic culture. Despite the difficult subject matter and hard-to-watch clips, the documentary has a positive and moving aspect of Shields finding her identity away from how she was constantly portrayed in the media.

The doc moves further past her early career, touching on her short-lived marriage to tennis legend Andrew Agassi in 1997, and her newfound confidence and happiness with her family in the last few years. It makes for an engaging narrative that acts as a survivor’s story of someone who was able to adjust and come into their own, as well as feeling relevant in a post-MeToo era.

Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields will release on 3rd April on Hulu in the US, and in Disney+ in the UK and internationally.

For more documentaries directed and told by women, take a look at our list of 10 of The Best Documentaries Directed By Women


Want to receive more great articles like this every day? Join our daily email now