Reclaiming Amy evaluation – the Winehouse household set the document straight
It is now 10 years since Amy Winehouse’s loss of life on the age of 27, and Reclaiming Amy (BBC Two) is a brief, unhappy, candy movie that sees her household and buddies give their aspect of the singer’s difficult story. It’s narrated by her mom Janis, and doesn’t try to cover its place as a riposte to Asif Kapadia’s 2015 documentary Amy, which, Janis says, “claimed to inform the actual story about our daughter”. The implication is that it didn’t, and definitely her father, Mitch, has purpose to handle a few of the criticisms it levelled at him. Right here, he claims he had a nervous breakdown after its launch.
“The best way Amy turned out wasn’t as a result of she wasn’t raised proper,” insists her lifelong good friend, Michael, and we see loads of clips of how she was raised. There are dwelling movies and images of her on the day she was born, at three, at 5. There may be footage of her taking part in Rizzo in a faculty manufacturing of Grease, and her star energy is apparent to see even then. She virtually blows the opposite Pink Women off the stage.
The programme is at its finest when it lets this intimacy converse for itself, slightly than immediately attempting to proper the perceived wrongs of Kapadia’s movie. When Amy’s music profession took off, she beloved it, as her good friend Catriona remembers: “That’s when issues had been actually nice.” The enjoyment in her performances is dazzling, significantly within the days of her debut album, Frank. She performs at Glastonbury and the solar comes out. Her magnetism is clear, her vivaciousness blinding. However then, as one other good friend, Chantelle, solemnly places it, “all of it kicked off”.
Her second album, Again to Black, made Amy a global sensation on the identical time that her habit and bulimia had been operating rampant. It’s painful to observe the unravelling you understand is about to return. The portrait of the teenage Amy is so trustworthy, partially as a result of she tells a few of it herself. One of many beautiful touches right here is the usage of an interview carried out by Catriona, who was practising for a possible profession in TV. Janis calls Amy “a risky creature”, not with out affection, however we hear Amy agree. She might be, she admits, “an actual shit” to her mom. In flip, her mom says she didn’t know methods to tame her daughter.
After this, you’re left questioning if anybody may. Definitely the Amy that lives on this documentary is bloody-minded and arduous to achieve. Everybody carefully concerned along with her life throughout these traumatic, out-of-control years describes being in her orbit and never figuring out what to do. She received 5 Grammys, one introduced by her hero Tony Bennett, that well-known look of shock showing on her face as she slowly realises what is going on. However she married the unsuitable man, misplaced her beloved grandmother Cynthia, and endured an consuming dysfunction which many felt was taboo to debate again then. Mitch says he tried to have his daughter sectioned. Janis explains that her MS was progressing: “I may solely watch. Watch and wait.” Amy’s buddies Catriona, Chantelle and Naomi speak about operating round London along with her, and the highs are remembered with such love.
However the lows are agonising. Even now, after 10 years, the rawness is palpable, and the ultimate 5 minutes are crushingly unhappy. Ultimately, probably the most convincing case Reclaiming Amy makes is that no one is accountable for the singer’s loss of life. “The offender is habit,” says Mitch.
It’s too private a movie to be significantly goal, however there are different documentaries that make the declare to be so. That is individuals who knew Amy properly, speaking about her many complicated sides, as a celebrity however primarily as a daughter and as their good friend.