Reviewed by Michael Dalton
Surely it’s a father’s responsibility when they see their daughter suffering and seemingly hellbent on destroying herself to reach out and pull her back from the brink? In Asif Kapadia’s no holds barred documentary Amy, which maps the rise, mammoth success, and eventual downfall of the remarkably gifted singer Amy Winehouse, the superstar’s father Mitchell is lurking somewhere off-screen or on the edges of it, seemingly nonplussed. He abandoned her when she was nine years old only to reappear when her star was ascending. Fully aware she was in trouble, he rejected the idea of rehab when Amy’s loving manager Nick Shymansky suggested it for as far as he was concerned, she didn’t need it. Rather, he exploited her as evidenced in a sequence towards the end of the film where Amy takes a holiday to straighten out and he shows up with a camera and audio crew to record it. Its no surprise he’s dismissed this film as “misleading” and unbalanced”. Aside from the love of her life, Blake Fiedler-Civil, her husband, fellow drug fiend, jailbird, and finally ex-husband, and the hovering support of her two closest friends Juliette Ashby and Lauren Gilbert, her father was the only potentially positive influence in her life. This is a shattering, infuriating story.