AmyDVD of the Week Thursday, November 12th, 2015
dvd of the week
Amy, Asif Kapadia’s excellent and disturbing documentary about Amy Winehouse’s life, is composed entirely of home movies, television video and voice-over of interviewed friends and family. Chronically depressed as a teenager, which she blames on her parents’ divorce, she became bulimic and then self-medicated with alcohol and pot; when she was with eventual husband Blake Fielder, she added powder and crack cocaine, as well as heroin. Kapadia’s argument seems to be that the pressure of fame, along with the pressures of her parasitic father Mitch, profit-focused second manager Raye Cosbert and codependent husband Fielder, drew out the worst of Winehouse’s dark impulses. Kapadia skillfully edits the footage and the interviews, which include extensive commentary from her friends, compatriots and Fielder. Most of this is done without trickery, except for how he washes out the video of the paparazzi swarms to turn the camera flashes into near-white outs. The effect is haunting.
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