Like many, I came across Amy Winehouse for the first time with the release of her astonishing album Back to Black
. It was clear how talented she was - and also clear she had difficulties coping with fame.
As this sombre film shows, it would be difficult for anyone
to deal with such a rapid rise coupled with the awful media intrusion that accompanied it.
Here we see footage gleaned from family & friends of her as a young girl with a precocious talent or behind the scenes writing and recording her songs (my favourite part). We also see a lot of party girl footage with various acquaintances who were clearly a bad influence on her.
The two main men in her life particularly do not come out of this film looking good. Her long-term boyfriend/husband appeared to resist her treatments and her father Mitch did not seem to be acting in her best interests at all - according to the film.
Her downward spiral is very difficult to watch (her slapping her own face while high on stage, trying to get a grip, for example) and her treatment from the paparazzi who refused to give her any peace. However, the film greatly helped me understand how such a tragic end was allowed to happen. The sad thing is that it is likely to happen again and again ad nauseum