“I felt like my son’s story wanted to be advised,” Cleopatra Bernard says, explaining the choice behind making the documentary, which particulars how Florida teenager Jahseh Onfroy, a.ok.a. XXXTentacion, grew to become one of the most-streamed artists on the planet earlier than his death in 2018.
Any skilled accomplishments, nonetheless, went hand in hand with acts of violence and his alleged battery of girlfriend Geneva Ayala, who’s amongst these interviewed, with images offering proof of the brutal extent of that abuse.

“So she’s scared. She thinks I’m gonna kill her,” Onfroy says in a single recording, regardless of having insisted repeatedly that Ayala was mendacity about him. Videos additionally seize numerous fights and assaults on others, which in essence grew to become half of his model.

Bernard concedes that picture labored to her son’s benefit, observing about XXXTentacion’s profession, “He found out a technique to get consideration to himself, and regardless that it was adverse issues, it labored.” To her credit score, she additionally meets throughout the movie with Ayala, who skilled threats and social-media backlash from his followers at the time as a result of of his authorized troubles.

Still, director Sabaah Folayan faces a daunting process in presenting Onfroy’s private struggles and the victimization of Ayala whereas additionally highlighting his temporary profession and expertise, largely by relying upon interviews with family and friends.

At one level, requested about Onfroy’s excesses, Bernard says, “Even if he is Hitler, that is my son,” including of her help for him, “Any mom would have completed the identical factor, I might assume” — statements that seemingly cry out for follow-up questions that do not come.

The manufacturing auspices (Bernard is credited as an government producer together with former supervisor Solomon Sobande) cloud the train, giving the documentary the texture, or at least the looks, of a licensed product, particularly since its premiere coincides with the posthumous launch of a new song collaboration with Kanye West.

“Look At Me: XXXTENTACION” focuses on the nice that XXXTentacion did by his relationship with followers, that includes some of them discussing how his music helped them by tough instances. Yet there’s little consideration given to the questionable features of that, corresponding to his assertion, “This is a cult, not a fan base.”

At its core the documentary conveys the elements that formed his work, and contends, based mostly on the testimony of these near him, that Onfroy was within the course of of making adjustments to his life when he died.

As for what transpired earlier than then, “Look at Me” presents glimpses, nevertheless it’s not a totally developed picture.

“Look At Me: XXXTENTACION” premieres May 26 on Hulu.

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