How to stream Netflix's epic Kanye West doc today, before it's on Netflix

The documentary trilogy filmed Ye for 20 years and will kick off on Netflix Feb. 16. But early online screenings are happening now, if you know where to look.

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Joan E. Solsman
2 min read
Kanye West sits with a slight violet light cast on his face

Netflix's Kanye West docuseries followed the rapper, with his permission, for more than 20 years from his very beginnings as a hip-hop artist. 

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Netflix's trilogy of Kanye West documentary films, Jeen-yuhs -- a series that intimately recorded West over two decades and was bought by Netflix for a reported $30 million -- will be released on Netflix over three weeks starting Feb. 16. But fans who want to watch it even earlier have two different opportunities, if they know when and where to find it. 

Netflix has experimented with various release tempos for different film projects over the years. Its teen-horror trilogy Fear Street, for example, also landed on Netflix weekly over three weeks last summer. While Netflix has never relied on box office success as a meaningful part of its business, its decisions to release some films first in theaters and, especially, to drop installments weekly are two of its gambits that may extend the hype cycle for its movies. 

The first chance to watch Jeen-yuhs is as part of the Sundance Film Festival, with a Tuesday screening that is the second of only two planned streams. 

The fest still has $20 tickets available; to snag one, set up a Sundance Film Festival account and then click the button Select a Screening underneath the Single Day Ticket tile on the fest's ticketing page. Look for the "Select Film" button next to Jeen-yuhs in the Jan. 25 section. You'll have until 8 a.m. PT on Wednesday to start watching the doc. Once you start viewing it, you have five hours to finish it. (CNET's article about the Sundance Film Festival has more details about how to watch.)

The second opportunity to watch Jeen-yuhs early will be in actual theaters on Feb. 10, when the first film will screen in cinemas across the US for one day only. 

Then Netflix will release the first film in the series globally for all subscribers to stream on Feb. 16, following up by dropping the subsequent two films weekly. That means the third installment will be available on Feb. 23 and the final one, March 2. 

Netflix describes Jeen-yuhs as an "intimate and revealing portrait" filmed over two decades, tracing West's formative days in Chicago to "his life today as a global brand and artist" with never-before-seen footage. Created by filmmakers Clarence "Coodie" Simmons and Chike Ozah, known as Coodie and Chike, the duo are recurrent collaborators with West. They co-directed his 2003 Through the Wire video as well as one of the three videos made for his 2004 hit Jesus Walks.

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