Joan Baez Gets Personal in New Documentary “I Am a Noise”— See the Trailer

Folk icon Joan Baez has a new documentary dedicated to her life called Joan Baez: I Am a Noise, set to hit screens in New York on October 6. In the new trailer for the film, Baez recalls her 60-year career along with the challenges that came with it, including the deterioration of her mental health.

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“I don’t think anybody at a young age who gets famous has the slightest idea that it’ll ever end,” Baez says in the clip released this week. “I was the right voice at the right time.”

[RELATED: The 16 Best Joan Baez Quotes]

Her first album, a self-titled collection of 13 traditional folk songs, was released in 1960 when Baez was 19 years old. When she initially broke out in the ’60s, Baez became a main voice in the insurgent protest-folk musical movement alongside her frequent collaborator Bob Dylan. The pair played at the civil rights March on Washington in 1963, a time alluded to in the trailer. “Nonviolent action is what I was born for,” she says in the trailer. “I knew I belonged there.”

Throughout this, Baez endured anxiety and panic attacks, which she speaks about in the film. “The panic attack stuff started early,” she says, “and then the anxiety just heightened. I’d walk out on the stage, and they’d say, ‘Oh, she looks so peaceful.’ Exactly the opposite of what was going on inside.”

Baez spoke candidly about her mental-health journey, and not even knowing about terms like “panic attack” when she was much younger experiencing them, in an interview with The New Yorker earlier this year. “I was always disciplined when I was younger. I would tell myself to lighten up, but you can’t when you’re going from panic attack to panic attack,” she said. “When I was light, it was wonderful; I had great capacity for silliness and enjoyment. But it couldn’t sustain itself.”

Joan Baez: I Am a Noise — directed by Karen O’Connor, Miri Navasky, and Maeve O’Boyle — will open in Los Angeles and to wider markets on October 13.

Photo by MALI/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

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