AMY, Asif Kapadia’s devastating new documentary about UK’s silky voiced, troubled jazz diva Amy Winehouse is a revealing eye opener and disturbing look at a genuine natural born talent.  

The first revelation when watching the story of Amy unfold, is when we realize the truly extraordinary musical ability coming out of this happy spontaneous teenage girl from a broken home with big eyes and a broad smile.

Amy was gifted with not only a soulful sultry voice but music just seems to radiate from her body. Whatever came into her head manifested itself spontaneously into natural poetic lyrics that seemed to be coming out of a much older and seasoned professional.

The public was instantly turned on to her haunting smoky voice and soulful lyrics which were deeply affecting and mirrored the struggles in her personal life. Watching Amy as she grows as an artist and gains in fame, it seemed she was living a dream that quickly turned into a nightmare.

The second shocking revelation from watching this documentary is how fast Amy descends into a downward spiral due to her extremely obsessive personality and volatile emotional issues, reacting strongly to problems that start to surface in her dysfunctional relationships with her father and boyfriend. 

The very traits that made her such an exceptional artist are the same traits that also brought about her self-destruction. As the money train continued to gain velocity, no one, including the people closest to her, was willing or able to put on the brakes when a crash seemed imminent. 

Powerful and heartbreaking, this is a must-see documentary that gives insight into a huge vocal talent and how our toxic dollar driven, celebrity obsessed society allowed such a young vulnerable life to be cut short in such an untimely and uncaring manner. She was like a modern day Mozart who was unaware of the effect her genuine creative ability had on people and was taken aback by the overwhelming reaction of the media and her fans. 

Even if you’ve never heard of Amy Winehouse, you will be captivated by this authentic passionate young gem caught in a turbulent sea of bad influences. Her father Mitch, who abandoned her mother after a longtime affair with another woman when Amy was very young, and her cocaine addicted boyfriend Blake were among her biggest influences; both were getting a free ride on the runaway success of Amy’s early albums and were blind to Amy’s emotional needs and psychological problems.

British born director Asif Kapadia, who also produced the celebrated documentary SENNA (2010) about Brazilian Formula One race car driver Ayrton Senna, and grew up in the same North London area where Amy lived, insisted on full creative control over the project. 

With access to some very personal and intimate archival footage of Amy he skillfully blends interview footage of her friends and family into a visually innovative chronicle of the deeply troubled singer/song writer as she rises from fun loving local prodigy to an international sensation. 

Amy like Ayrton was a singular talent, a mesmerizing young sensitive individual who could live no other way than where her heart and ability lead her. Their greatest strength also became their greatest weakness. They both died tragically. Amy was a great loss and her voice will live on in her songs but there are important lessons to be learned here about the negative effects of too much fame too soon.


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