Despite just two albums to her name Amy Winehouse is one of the biggest music icons in British history. With a voice often described as a combination of Billy Holiday, Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan, she was a pop star with soul, a once in two generational musical talent whose appeal crossed cultural and demographic boundaries. But while her music made her a star, her chaotic personal life drew headlines.
This film, a sensitive portrayal by Asif Kapadia, has also drawn headlines because Amy’s father, Mitch, has objected to the way he has been portrayed in the film. There is a jawdropping moment, however, which can not have been contrived, when Mitch invades the peace that her manager had tried to create for her in St Lucia, bringing a camera crew with him. Kapadia uses the same technique as he used to such effect in Senna, where he edits already shot film to make a documentary of Amy’s short life and death. She emerges from it as something of an innocent, ironically, unguided by her parents and at the mercy of those with whom she came into contact. Unfortunately, it seems that she was more attracted to the destructive forces than the forces of good.
The film received prize nominations at Cannes and the Edinburgh Festival in 2015.
Venue: William Loveless Hall