anyone seen this? it confirmed everything i thought about her really. bloody tragic and surrounded by idiots. very emotional doc
Yes I saw it yesterday and agree with you. It was sad and shocking (as expected), but I don't think I was quite prepared for how small, young and vulnerable she was. It was well made though and I'm glad I went.
I'm going to the showroom to see this tomorrow, really looking forward to it, though no doubt it will make me cry
Very sad. I can understand why Mitch Winehouse doesn't like it. He doesn't come across well. She was so young.
I saw it yesterday and can't stop thinking about it. She was so lovely and bright and let down badly by her handlers and her dad who was probably the only person who could have made a difference. Blake was clearly damaged but I couldn't find much sympathy for him given his reappearance in her life just as the money started to roll in. Why she fell for him wasn't quite clear. He wasn't the man 'stronger than me' that she was looking for and needed. The behaviour of the media and press was repellant - even at the end of her life. A very hard watch towards the end but an important film.
Just back in.
What a tragic, vulnerable girl she was - I think even without the fame and fortune she would have been emotionally and mentally fragile. She talks about being on anti depressants as a young pre teen.
Meeting Blake, a similarly fragile character, was so wrong for her and her destiny seemed downward then; though as a grown woman she was given chances but followed the path of addiction, at times seemingly willingly, to mirror him, in a desperate need for love from a broken soul.
Her mum comes off slightly better than her dad in the documentary, though neither of them seemed to parent her, even when she was younger, and Mitch, especially latterly, appears nothing but a parasite. He could, of course, be wrongly portrayed, but I was not impressed with him at all in St Lucia.
She never wanted fame - it looks hell - and repeatedly told her team she didn't want to do it any more. The concert in Serbia, for example, was shameful.
A tragic death that was caused as much by her bulimia as by her drinking, and in some ways seemed inevitable, though I am sure it wasn't really. She really should have gone to rehab early on, and some of her management team really were rooting for her to get clean. Her family seemed in denial both about the bulimia and the addictions.
Saddest part for me? When the pseudo fans, or ghouls, gathered outside her house and shouted RIP Amy to her corpse as it was removed ... no privacy from the public or the paparazzi, even in death.
I'm not sure that it does, CormoranStrike. That Guardian piece came out before the film so it was written blind as it were.
Mitch is presented in the film as having the casting vote on whether she goes to rehab (in early 2007, I think, but my recall of the dates isn't perfect), and says no (as in the song). I think his motives at that point are unclear but I expect he is just telling Amy what she wants to hear rather than being intent on exploiting her. His decision to turn up with a film crew in St Lucia does however smack of selfishness and stupidity. He seems to be missing the point that he shouldn't have done that. And as far as the decision to put her back on stage in 2011, no one should have even asked the question. The rest of her management can go hang - no one was thinking of what was best for Amy at any stage.
I found it powerfully affecting. I didn't know there was so much footage of her. I never saw her live. A young fragile person like that being hounded by paparazzi, horrible. Blake isn't important. She loved him, that was all. He was a parasite, but he wasn't responsible for her death. Her eating disorder largely was. I think eating disorders have a greater role in drug and alcohol deaths than is usually reported. Mitch was a pimp. I was in tears at the end. Rest in peace Amy.
When I came out of seeing it, I was in two minds - watching it felt very exploitative and just a continuation of what had happened to her.
Now, a few days later, I like it even less. I found it very superficial and didactic - 'here's what to think.'
I didn't feel it was exploitative at all, in fact, I think the key thing about the film is that it humanised her again. Everyone's lasting memory of her is of the last few, horrible years of her life. The film reminds us that underneath was a human being, whose addictions robbed her of everything and in the end her life. The media, the papparazzi and the public forgot that, and this film for me, goes a long way in rediscovering that lost girl. I can see why her family might be upset and I agree that she was badly let down, through ignorance and perhaps greed (there were a lot of people benefitting from the AW gravy train, and her Dad did seem to need the attention and put his needs before hers). However, I think that her closest friends and family should be grateful to the filmmaker for preserving and speaking out for in a way, that poor,lost girl, if only on film.
But that's exactly what I mean - it was very black and white, very didactic. You were told to think 'that poor, lost girl' rather than see the shades within her life, to see her as a girl rather than a woman, an exploited talent rather than a privileged talent with agency.
I just had a sense it thought it was a much cleverer film, a much deeper one, than it actually was.
I loved Amy from her first album - when she really wasn't that known about. I'm not sure I can bring myself to see it as I still feel so sad that she wasn't protected from her demons. I can't see that knowing more will help that. I know it was a tragic loss of an insane talent, she was an old soul in a young girl, thrown to the lions of the media.
I thought it did humanise her. It showed her as cheerful, friendly, proud of her Jewish heritage, and - this is very important - with loyal friends who never let her down.
This is one of my favourite memories of her in the early days. She was funny, sassy and very likeable as well as being a natural singer.
The trouble is when you have money is that you can fall prey to rehabs with less than sterling qualities. I haven't heard of it ever being appropriate to admit a couple to rehab together because they tend to become dysfunctional and winf each other up towards using again.
If she refused to go unless Blake went, well, that was her decision. It was doomed to fail because the cycle of dysfunction within a relationship tends to be reinforced within the confines of the rehab, only it becomes hot housed because exterior constraining factors on 'bad' behaviour are lacking.
As for Blake = bad and Amy= good that is a very naive, tabloid way of looking at things. Amy was already terribly damaged before she met him and primed to use because of ths. I would suggest she may well have sought out a man like Blake in order to actualise subconscious self destructive desires as opposed to being coerced or groomed into using because of love.
This film is just as exploitative as anything that went on before her death. Unless of course the makers are donating any profit to drug and mental health charities.
The lost girl I'm referring to is the Amy before addiction really took hold. I mean literally lost - as in we see only the shell of what was there before. The cartoon figure of the addict is what we remember. The healthy, vibrant, conscious young woman who disappears in the last part of the film is restored by the film.
Where there is addiction, there is no agency, there is no personality, the substances are in control. With Amy this process was started with weed and alcohol in her teens. Once it starts, with some people, given the right circumstances, it leads to self destruction. I don't know if she could have been 'saved'. But I think the film does attempt to show that addiction is a ruthless killer and even the strongest sometimes do not survive.
I don't believe the film is exploitative because that important message is at its core.
Incidentally a friend of mine came across Amy once here in the midlands town where she lived. She was drinking alone in a bar after her show. It was March 2007 and she was already very well known, but she was pissed and alone and asking a stranger where she could get crack. Whilst she could only be 'saved' by her own self, those around her accelerated her destruction.
I'm sorry but addiction and subs misuse doesn't always destroy or obliterate the personality. That is a bit of a misnomer and this fact would have derailed what I believe to be the predetermined 'theme' of this film. I have worked with hundreds of drug users over the years and I have never encountered one with no shred of 'pre-morbid' personality left, whatever that is. Most of them very much retained elements of the person underneath the addiction- even the ones who were deeply mired in the shit, so to speak.
Amy was not a psychologically healthy woman prior to her using drugs. The seeds of her problems were sewn early in her childhood. She may have come across as vibrant and talented and she was but I doubt there was a huge amount of psychological wealth and I can not under prioritise this, as less influential than seeming 'physical' health.
Drat- posted too soon.
It's kind of like saying the road looked great until it collapsed. The road collapsed because it was constructed with ishoos. Same with Amy. The drugs, EDs and alcohol were always symptoms, not a cause.
I never said they weren't a symptom and not a cause. I have lived with an addict (in recovery now thankfully) I get that the disease starts long before the using.
What I am saying is that in the eyes of the public she was dehumanised. And whilst there might have been some of the pre-morbid personality left (who knows, it's difficult to tell?), that's not what we saw in the tabloids. But the film reminds us that there is a person underneath, one that was damaged and predisposed to addiction, but a person, not just a washed up junkie. Someone who deserved respect and sympathy not ridicule.
Maybe that's the problem - I don't believe what I read in tabloids, and I don't know anyone who does take that stuff as Gospel, so I genuinely didn't know anyone who didn't see her as a 'person'.
What I'm saying is that the film, to me, was just as exploitative and narrow. It didn't make me think, it didn't give me any insight, it just me feel that I shouldn't be watching it as it was part of the same circus.
Equally, it's simply not true that those with addictions have no personality - some of the most charming, engaging, charismatic people I've ever met have been addicts.
I think lots of people didn't see her as a person - there was a very uncomfortable montage of various comedians and chat show hosts (Graham Norton was one of them) making crass, unfunny jokes about a woman who was obviously neck-deep in shit. It was horrific and made me remember how her life had just become this tabloid car crash - but it transcended the red-tops: every move was picked over and sneered at by every commentator who was after a up-to-the-minute laugh. Lots of people who wouldn't consider themselves to be tabloid readers seemed to think it was perfectly ok to snigger at her because she was a skanky addict and didn't know what was going on. I agree with honey that the film humanised her and made her far more than the sum of her addictions/problems.
Yes, there is an assumption made by the film and some of its fans that 'all' of the public dehumanised her, that we all fell for the media trope and all participated in it.
I certainly didn't and many of the people who I am friendly with or work with were/are the same. I don't actually recall any RL sniggering among them. Yes sections of the media did, including some effingly hypocritical female columnists who are now falling all over themselves to stand on dry and high moral ground, making pronouncements about this meeja dehumanisation that they gleefully participated in.
I suspect that the dehumanisation was mainly by the press and a fairly small and gullible section of its readership. The rest of us were divided between "meh", sympathy, empathy, cynicism about the story and a hundred and one other feelings.
Finally, as for the concerts where she was extremely intoxicated, that, to me, was understandable and explainable by the fact that many addicts seek to alleviate stress. A gig, touring, foreign travel are all super stressful so that would be the time when she would be most likely to self medicate. The surprise expressed by some people that she "couldn't get it together for just one gig" showed how uneducated people could be about the mechanics of addiction. In that respect a film like this could have an educational, informative role but I'm unsure as to whether this was that kind of film.
She was the butt of many a joke in the media at one time. I think many people didn't see beyond the image of her flashed across the news, because why would we? Most people know bugger all about addiction and care even less, especially where celebrities are concerned.
And there's a world of difference between a functioning drug addict and what happened here.
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