continuing with my goal of watching one documentary a month, i watched asif kapadia’s amy over the weekend after my brother recommended it.
amy is an in-depth look at the life of amy winehouse as told from her parents, friends, and close professional partners, with a few bits from interviews amy had given while she was alive. featuring never before seen footage and home videos, kapadia dives into winehouse’s early life, her rise to international stardom, and her struggles with substance abuse and her tumultuous marriage.
i really liked amy because i learned a lot i didn’t already know. i only heard of amy winehouse about a year before she died, and even then i didn’t know much outside of the problems she was having with alcohol and drugs. i knew nothing of her upbringing, of her deep love for old-school jazz and tony bennett [which took me by complete surprise], or her early music.
what i liked best was that the entire documentary was photos and videos of amy with voiceovers from her interviews or from others who knew her well. it didn’t keep cutting out to people talking in studios [except for the one quick shot of questlove talking, which was odd] but rather showed amy herself. it was very clear that she was the subject of the documentary, she was its central character, and i appreciated that.
at just over 2 hours, amy is a bit longer than other documentaries i’ve seen, but i never felt like it dragged at any point. i thought it was a well-made, insightful documentary that showed all the sides of a deeply complicated person without ever sensationalizing her.
if you are interested in watching, amy is currently available to stream for free on prime video or to buy or rent on itunes.
what was the last documentary you watched? i am still looking for recommendations for the remaining months!
ps — amy is nominated for an academy award – and is a frontrunner for the award – so try to check it out before the ceremony!