Garrett Bradley is following up “Time,” her Oscar-nominated portrait of a woman fighting to free her incarcerated husband, with an intimate look behind the scenes of a tennis superstar’s life. “For so long, I’ve tied winning to my worth as a person. To anyone that would know me, they know me for being a tennis player. So, like, what am I if I’m not a good tennis player?” asks Naomi Osaka in a new trailer for a Netflix docuseries chronicling a pivotal two years in her career, following her through the U.S. Open in August 2019 to her 2020 Grand Slam tour to this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Osaka admits that she’s “struggling” in the spot for “Naomi Osaka.” “No one really knows all the sacrifices that you make just to be good,” she explains. The trailblazing athlete reveals that she considers the amount of attention she receives to be “kind of ridiculous,” and she felt unprepared for life in the spotlight. Still, she’s determined to use her voice to effect change. Speaking about the Black Lives Matter movement, the activist says, “None of these deaths had to happen and I just want everyone to know the names.”
“The series is about Naomi’s journey, within a snapshot of her life, but it’s also about life’s purpose, about personal worth, about the courage that it takes to allow one’s personal values to inform their work and vice versa,” Bradley said in a statement. “More than anything, I’d hope people can feel the power of empathy and to feel encouraged to take chances in life, perhaps especially in moments where the stakes can feel impossibly high.”
Osaka added, “I feel like the platform that I have right now is something that I used to take for granted, and for me I feel like I should be using it for something. I believe, instead of following, you have to make your own path.”
Bradley’s last project, “Time,” received an Oscar nod for Best Documentary Feature. The film premiered at Sundance 2020, and Bradley became the the first Black woman to win the fest’s Directing Award: U.S. Documentary.
“Naomi Osaka” launches on Netflix July 16.