What to expect from Céline Dion documentary I Am

The superstar has let cameras in to show her gruelling battle with rare neurological condition stiff-person syndrome.

I Am: Celine Dion (Prime Video)
What to expect from I Am: Céline Dion. (Prime Video)

Céline Dion fans are about to get an unflinching look at the rare neurological condition that has devastated the singer's career in recent years.

Documentary I Am: Céline Dion begins streaming on Prime Video on 25 June and will show the superstar's gruelling ongoing recovery from stiff-person syndrome, including difficult scenes of the seizures she suffers.

But Dion also shares her incredible drive to get back out on stage in front of her fans again, in one of the most emotional popstar documentaries around. Here's all you need to know about what to expect from I Am: Céline Dion.

Back in 2021, Dion's legions of fans were devastated when she announced that she had to cancel her Las Vegas residency due to unspecified medical reasons.

In December 2022, she shared her diagnosis with stiff-person syndrome - a neurological condition so rare that many of her fans would never heard of the illness which causes muscle spasms and progressive rigidity.

Documentary I Am: Céline Dion begins streaming on 25 June.
Documentary I Am: Céline Dion begins streaming on 25 June. (Prime Video)

Viewers are in for a tough watch as Dion allows the cameras to film some of her seizures, including one near the end of the film that lasts for nearly 10 minutes. She says: "I have been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder and I wasn't ready to say anything before. But I'm ready now."

Dion also shows the hard work she is doing in hopes of managing her symptoms, which include medication and ballet workouts. She is tearful as she talks emotionally about cancelling shows and working towards being back on stage, saying: "I have to admit, it's been a struggle. I miss it so much. The people, I miss them. If I can't run, I'll walk. If I can't walk, I'll crawl. I won't stop."

Watch: I Am: Celine Dion trailer

Reviews for I Am: Celion Dion have been incredibly positive, praising the singing super star we love for opening up to her fans and for "not holding back".

Among the reviews, Variety's Peter Debruge wrote: "In “I Am,” she is Celine Dion. Turns out, she’s even stronger than we gave her credit for. But that’s not all. Relistening to her songs in the lead-up to the documentary, I picked up on something different from the many ways she found to express romantic love — something I would describe as gratitude.

"That same dimension of Celine Dion’s personality is reflected throughout the documentary, from the appreciation she shows her backup singers, band and staff to the way she addresses her fans."

New York Post's Johnny Oleksinski said: "Opening up is exactly what she does in the excellent “I Am: Celine Dion,” which hits Prime Video on June 25. By turns harrowing, humorous and hopeful, the Celine documentary does not hold back.

"In an entertainment landscape cluttered with carefully curated images and inauthentic public relations campaigns, the film’s brutal honesty is refreshing — shocking, even — if hard for a Celine fan, such as myself, to witness."

Celine Dion onstage during the 66th GRAMMY Awards in February this year.
Celine Dion onstage during the 66th GRAMMY Awards in February this year. (Getty)

If any reminder were needed of Dion's incredible achievements over the decades, fans will be pleased to know that there is plenty of footage from her shows and recordings. Contrasted with her current health difficulties are clips of her strutting across stages around the world in front of adoring crowds, belting out some of her most famous hits.

One moment shows her apologising to sound engineers in a recording studio for almost breaking the microphone, such was the power of her voice hitting high notes. It makes scenes where she shows what happens when she tries to reach the same notes now even more upsetting to see.

It's no secret that many a star has a wardrobe to envy, but Dion's is particularly jaw-dropping as it is so huge that it has to be kept in a warehouse. Dion gives a tour of countless rows of hangers, boxes and shelves that make up a walk-in wardrobe many times the size of most people's houses.

Talking about her love of shoes, she says: "When a girl loves her shoes, she always make them fit. From six to 10 - give it to me. I love them. Here we go."

Celine Dion pictured with her son Rene-Charles Angelil in 2016.
Celine Dion pictured with her son Rene-Charles Angelil in 2016. (Getty)

Aside from her love for her fans, which she talks candidly about throughout the documentary, one of the most moving parts of the film is seeing her devotion to her children.

Dion is mum to three sons - René-Charles, and twins Nelson and Eddy. She lost her husband and manager René Angélil, the boys' father, in 2016 lending even more poignancy to her struggle to balance illness, motherhood and work. There's clearly a strong bond between Dion and her children, with eldest René-Charles joining her at the documentary's New York premiere.

Directed by Academy Award nominee Irene Taylor, I Am: Celine Dion will be available worldwide on Prime Video on 25 June.