Movies, Documentary


No Comments 18 April 2018


Since every person now has a smartphone, documentaries of people living today will much easier to do because so much film material will be available on each person. Compared to the documentary on Bob Marley that I covered earlier, a lot of film material was available on Amy Winehouse. Relatively cheap digital video cameras were around when she turned 14 and she and her friend started to interview each other like teenagers do. Documentaries on popular musicians are generally wonderful because we love to hear the music again that accompanied our own lives. Amy is a rewarding film to watch.

In terms of drama, it cannot compare to Sugarman because in the case of Amy we know the story will end: she dies much too young. The film does a wonderful job in showing her raw talent and how she converted it into magnificent art. Just listening to her 2nd record did not reveal this to me. It also does a great job in showing what it means to go from living a normal life to being a superstar. The first half of the film covers her when she was a struggling artist in London without much attention. But what is missing is the authoritative voice of a director who is trying to connect the dots for us. Here the director tries to hide. Never are questions asked like in Sugarman where the director tries to get interviewees to dig deeper into why things are happening. Amy’s husband is suddenly taken to jail without any explanation why. Next, we hear they are divorcing. Even though the husband clearly was the love of her life, the film never explains why they divorced. We are suddenly presented with a new boyfriend. What the director seems to have gotten right is that her father failed to look out for the well-being of the daughter. He simply wanted to benefit from Amy’s fame. He might have been able to get her into rehab early rather than Amy singing a song about not going to rehab as her friends urged her to do. Amyis very sad. From the beginning, we are given the feeling that a train wreck is coming. What is even sadder is that Amy herself saw it coming but she could not do anything to stop it. Her self-destructive psychology gave us wonderful art that also took her life.



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