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Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

IFC Films, Showtime
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Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work (2010) exposes the private dramas of irreverent, legendary comedian and pop icon Joan Rivers as she fights tooth and nail to remain the queen of comedy. Filmed as a cinema verite documentary, the film reveals a rare glimpse of the comedic process and the toxic mixture of self-doubt and anger that often fuels it.

Joan’s story is both an outrageously funny journey and a brutally honest look at the ruthless entertainment industry, the trappings of success and the ultimate vulnerability of the life of a performer.

With unguarded access, the film cuts intimate scenes with Joan’s personal archive creating a lush visual landscape and cinematic backdrop for the narrative as it unfolds.

Over the course of the year, Joan fights to reinvent herself and put herself back on top. She reveals in private that the years of exposure have taken a toll on her, leaving her raw and alone. Her longest lasting relationship is her manager who she ends up firing during the course of filming, severing her last tie to her past. In a dressing room before a show, she exposes a much-guarded vulnerability revealing all she has left is her performing.

An inspiration to some, a plastic surgery whore to others, Joan Rivers’ controversial personas are what continue to fascinate the public and draw audiences to her. The film provides a rare look at an iconic performer, stripped of her comedy masks and laying bare the truth of her life and inspiration.


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