Asif Kapadia is a master of his form, expertly turning this Behind the Music-waiting-to-happen into a poignant, studious evocation of his subject’s headspace, yet simultaneously keeping her distant. It was, after all, that very public “claim” on Winehouse that proved destructive.
There is nothing pat or trite about this impressionistic two-hour montage, though Kapadia is armed with an argument that, lacking a more traditional means of expression, makes the film’s second half repetitive; though skilful heart- and gut-wrenching sequences fold into one another so constantly that Amy remains hypnotic. A triumphant, then tragic, experience – masterful, and wholly worthwhile.
An incredible study and a challenge to public complicity, what sticks most from this tender and complex portrait is its subject’s gaze; Kapadia forces us into Amy’s mind and keeps us there. A cinematic treat.
DIRECTOR: Asif Kapadia
SYNOPSIS: The story of Amy Winehouse in her own words, featuring unseen archival footage and unheard tracks.