Tuesday, June 16, 2015
From live bands to comedy, NXNE offers a wide array of things of hear and see from June 17-21, but one highlight is the Canadian premiere of Amy.
Directed by Asif Kapadia, Amy, is a powerful documentary covering the life and demise of Amy Winehouse, the London soul and jazz singer who died of alcoholism after a brief, but stunning career. There have been several TV documentaries that have sensationalized Winehouse's well-known battles with booze and heroin, but Kapadia's actually cuts deep and presents the whole story.
The film is largely told by Winehouse on screen using candid home movies and audio interviews, and through childhood friends and associates such as her bodyguard, drug counsellor and ex-lovers. Mitch Winehouse, her father, comes off as exploitive, as does her last manager, but the true villain is Amy herself who self-destructed in a slow suicide.
Amy comes off as a tragedy. It does not exploit its subject but rather it deepens our understanding of a rare talent, but one that was too weak to survive the accolades that those gifts bestowed.