Beyoncé: Lemonade

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Beyoncé: Lemonade
Beyonce Lemonade.jpg
Promotional poster
Written byWarsan Shire
Directed by
Music byBeyoncé
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producers
  • Beyoncé
  • Ed Burke
  • Onye Anyanwu
  • Thomas Benski
  • Kira Carstensen
CinematographyKhalik Allah
EditorBill Yukich
Running time65 minutes
Production companies
Original networkHBO
Original release
  • April 23, 2016 (2016-04-23)

Beyoncé: Lemonade is a film and visual album executive produced by American singer Beyoncé. The film serves as a visual companion to the 2016 album of the same name. It premiered on HBO on April 23, 2016.


The film is divided into eleven chapters, titled "Intuition", "Denial", "Anger", "Apathy", "Emptiness", "Accountability", "Reformation", "Forgiveness", "Resurrection", "Hope", and "Redemption".[1] The film uses poetry and prose written by British-Somali poet Warsan Shire; the poems adapted were "The Unbearable Weight of Staying", "Dear Moon", "How to Wear Your Mother's Lipstick", "Nail Technician as Palm Reader", and "For Women Who Are Difficult to Love".[2][3]


The film's cast features Ibeyi, Laolu Senbanjo, Amandla Stenberg, Quvenzhané Wallis, Chloe x Halle, Zendaya and Serena Williams.[4] In "Forward", the mothers of Trayvon Martin (Sybrina Fulton), Michael Brown (Lesley McFadden), and Eric Garner (Gwen Carr) are featured holding pictures of their deceased sons.[5][6] Jay-Z and Beyoncé's daughter Blue Ivy appears in home video footage at one point, as does Jay-Z's grandmother Hattie White, and Beyoncé's mother Tina Knowles, who is shown with her second husband Richard Lawson on their wedding day in 2015.[7]


Critical response[edit]

Miriam Bale for Billboard called Lemonade "a revolutionary work of Black feminism" as "a movie made by a black woman, starring Black women, and for Black women", in which Beyoncé is seen gathering, uniting and leading Black women throughout the film.[8] As well as relating the story of Beyoncé's relationship with her husband, Lemonade also chronicles the relationship between Black women and American society. The includes how the United States betrayed and continually mistreats Black women, with society needing to solve its problems in order to enable reformation and the rehabilitation of Black women.[9] As part of reverting the societal oppression and silencing of Black women, Lemonade centralizes the experiences of Black women in a way that is not often seen in the media, and celebrates their achievements despite the adversity they face.[10][11]

In June 2016, Matthew Fulks sued Beyoncé, Sony Music, Columbia Records and Parkwood Entertainment for allegedly lifting nine visual elements of his short film Palinoia for the trailer for Lemonade. The lawsuit was subsequently dismissed by New York federal judge Jed S. Rakoff, siding with the defendant.[12]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2016 African-American Film Critics Association Awards Best TV Show – Special or Limited Series Lemonade Won [13]
2016 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Variety Special Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Todd Tourso, Erinn Williams, Dora Melissa Vargas, Steve Pamon and Ed Burke Nominated [14]
Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special Kahlil Joseph and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter Nominated
Outstanding Picture Editing for a Variety Special Bill Yukich Nominated
Outstanding Production Design for a Variety, Nonfiction, Event or Award Special Hannah Beachler, Chris Britt and Kim Murphy Nominated
2017 Black Reel Television Awards Outstanding Television Documentary or Special Lemonade Won [15]


  1. ^ Hall, Gerrad (April 23, 2016). "Lemonade: Best moments from Beyoncé's HBO event". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on June 19, 2016. Retrieved August 7, 2016.
  2. ^ Garcia, Patricia (April 25, 2016). "Warsan Shire Is the Next Beyoncé-Backed Literary Sensation". Vogue. Archived from the original on April 30, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  3. ^ Leaf, Aaron (April 23, 2016). "Ibeyi, Laolu Senbanjo, Warsan Shire Featured In Beyoncé's 'Lemonade'". Okay Africa. Archived from the original on April 25, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  4. ^ Price, S.L. "Serena Williams is SI's Sportsperson of the Year". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on December 11, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  5. ^ "Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner's Mothers Appear in Beyoncé's 'Lemonade' Video". Essence. April 24, 2016. Archived from the original on April 25, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  6. ^ Tinsley, Omise'eke Natasha. "Beyoncé's Lemonade Is Black Woman Magic". Time. Archived from the original on January 23, 2021. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  7. ^ "Beyoncé's new album: why is it called Lemonade, what do the lyrics mean, plus all you need to know". Telegraph. May 4, 2016. Archived from the original on November 8, 2016. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  8. ^ "Beyonce's 'Lemonade' Is a Revolutionary Work of Black Feminism: Critic's Notebook". Billboard. April 25, 2016. Archived from the original on July 9, 2020. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  9. ^ "Examining Lemonade with a Beyoncé studies professor". Dazed. April 26, 2016. Archived from the original on August 3, 2020. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  10. ^ Webster, Sina H. (2018). "When Life Gives You Lemons, "Get In Formation:" A Black Feminist Analysis of Beyonce's Visual Album, Lemonade". Senior Honors Theses. Archived from the original on September 17, 2021. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  11. ^ McFadden, Syreeta (April 24, 2016). "Beyoncé's Lemonade is #blackgirlmagic at its most potent". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on August 3, 2020. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  12. ^ Legaspi, Althea (September 1, 2016). "Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Beyoncé's 'Lemonade'". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on September 19, 2016. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
  13. ^ "'Moonlight' Named Best Picture by the African American Film Critics Association". The Hollywood Reporter. December 12, 2016. Archived from the original on December 13, 2016. Retrieved December 13, 2016.
  14. ^ "Lemonade". Television Academy. Archived from the original on October 20, 2020. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  15. ^ "17th Annual Black Reel Awards Nominations". Black Reel Awards. December 14, 2016. Archived from the original on February 28, 2017. Retrieved December 18, 2016.

External links[edit]