Recently announced as being nominated for two Baftas, Asif Kapadia’s ‘Amy’ paints a revealing picture of the late singer’s rise and fall. The film documents Amy’s life through home videos and narration from the singer’s friends and family, showcasing everything from childhood birthday parties to candid clips of her in rehab.
Through early recordings of Winehouse, we are repeatedly informed of the singer’s fears of fame, “I think I’d go mad.” Whilst later being exposed to clips of swarming paparazzi repeatedly surrounding her. We learn through a friend’s anecdote that the singer once revealed “[on her voice] If I could give it up to walk down that street with no hassle I would.”
With Winehouse’s promiscuous past, ‘Amy’ provides – not a justification but rather an exploration of the singer’s actions. The film explores Winehouse’s struggle with addiction through documenting her consistent drug relapses. After being declared ‘clean’, and able to perform, Amy won the Grammy for the reputable ‘Record of the Year’, yet the film reveals Amy informed a friend “this is so boring without drugs”.
‘Amy’ showcases the singer’s best and worst without a rose-tinted lens or conclusion that Amy was a hero. She’s shown as herself through the people who knew her best in this impressive, moving documentary.