The story Kapadia tells is a synthesis of fascinating materials. How would Winehouse feel about the film? In it she visits her incarcerated husband and arrives to a swarm of paps at the jail gate. She stands, quietly astounded, frozen, hopeless in the glare. The film screams that Winehouse had suffered a dozen cameras too many. Kapadia's becomes another.
She was there all along, she just got lost. Amy has really made me understand that. She was coming back to us, she was back on her feet and there were plans for new music and babies right before she died. Kapadia said "once people see the film they realise she was amazing and special and we should have looked after her." We really should have.
The media after her death in July 2011, focussed on her alcohol and drug abuse. But they didn't mention her bulimia, nor the depression she wrestled with since she was a teen. The new documentary film on her life directed by Asif Kapadia sets the record straight, telling the tale of a brilliant woman who was plagued with self-doubt and deficient in resilience.
The journey begins, the seductive voice of a pure jazz artist, a voice made for small jazz clubs, the success of the album Frank and Back To Back. The essence of the film is the songs and it was a brilliant touch to put the lyrics on screen as subtitles which echo the very personal nature of her songs.