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‘I want to help people’

Celine Dion celebrated her upcoming documentary, I’m Celine Dionon Monday night in New York City with a special screening.

The legendary singer’s project serves as a love letter to her fans, highlighting the music that has guided her throughout her life and documenting the years she struggled with stiff person syndrome. She announced that she was diagnosed with the life-changing and rare neurological disease in December 2022.

When it came down to it I am: Celine Dion, the musician noted that she didn’t want it to focus solely on her career as that had already been done several times, but instead wanted it to make her fans more aware of what had happened in her life that caused her to postpone it and cancel tour dates.

“It’s such an honor and a privilege to be a mother, and I thought it was my biggest responsibility for me to know what was going on with my health for my children, and then the respect that I have for my fans and my family. ‘, Dion said The Hollywood Reporter prior to the screening. “I’ve been an open book all my life. They need to know that I am not alone here after a career of forty years.”

She explained that it has been a long process because her disease is so rare, so it is harder to find doctors who can treat her condition, and so many tests have been done. Even though she has to deal with stiff person syndrome, she also wants to be there for people who are having a hard time in their own lives.

“Many people in the world are just suffering or wondering, and I hope that this documentary, first and foremost, gives people the opportunity to let them know that I am here as a mother as an artist, as a woman as an artist. an ambassador in the sense that I want to help people,” she said. “A lot of people look into a pocket of empty hope, and it’s pretty dark, and that’s how I felt for a long time until I realized that this isn’t alive. That’s not even dying. This is just being quiet, and I didn’t want that anymore. I don’t think I deserved that. My children especially didn’t deserve that.”

As she continues to cope with her diagnosis, the “My Heart Will Go On” singer said that seeing her fans stay loyal to her and support her in her efforts feels like “a new beginning in a way,” but she admitted she’s a little nervous about this next chapter.

I’m Celine Dion was directed by Irene Taylor, who did not know Dion was ill when she signed up for the documentary. At the time, she wondered what the angle of the project could be, and then the artist told her about her illness.

“What I was worried about was, ‘What would the movie be about? What would I focus on?’” Taylor shared THR. “Because there’s a very long career that we could focus on, and ultimately this film really looks back over many, many decades, but it really focuses on the here and now and who she is or I am straight away.”

In the theater, minutes before the screening, which aired in several cities, Taylor praised the staff for giving her complete freedom to build a relationship with Dion on her own terms. The filmmaker also revealed that the musician only asked one thing of her when they agreed to work together I’m Celine Dion — she wanted to make a movie where she was the one talking about herself instead of other people talking about her.

When Dion took the stage, she shared an anecdote from the documentary in which she compared herself to an apple as she learned about stiff person syndrome following her diagnosis.

“When I told myself I was comparing myself to an apple from a tree, I don’t want you to have to stand in line anymore if I don’t have shiny apples for you,” she shared. “So a few days ago I saw a message from a fan saying, ‘We’re not here for the apple. We’re here for the tree. ”

I’m Celine Dion will be released on Prime Video on June 25.