Controversy Brewing Over Amy Winehouse Documentary

If you needed proof of Amy Winehouse's ability to cause controversy even six years after her death, look no further than the upcoming documentary Amy. The film is set to premiere at Cannes next month, and uses previously-unseen materials like interview footage and recordings to reconstruct the singer's rise to fame and subsequent fall into drugs and alcohol, showing footage up to her tragic death in 2009 at age 27. And even though a spokesperson for the highly-anticipated documentary insists that production went forward with "the full backing of the Winehouse family", the family has just announced that they're withdrawing that support for Amy , now that they've seen the finished product.

The Winehouse family would like to disassociate themselves from the forthcoming film about their much missed and beloved Amy. [...] They feel that the film is a missed opportunity to celebrate her life and talent and that it is both misleading and contains some basic untruths. There are specific allegations made against family and management that are unfounded and unbalanced.

The statement doesn't get into specifics about which claims or allegations the family takes issue with, except to express their disappointment at those people whom producers elected to interview.

The narrative is formed by the testimony of a narrow sample of Amy’s associates, many of whom had nothing to do with her in the last years of her life. Counter views expressed to the filmmakers did not make the final cut.

This sentiment is in direct opposition to claims made by the film's creators, who allege that they conducted approximately 100 interviews, and stand behind their objectivity, claiming that "the story that the film tells is a reflection of [the] findings from these interviews." But whomever's story you believe, it's not hard to sympathize with either side. On one hand, you have the filmmakers, who seem to be trying hard to present an objective, unbiased version of the story of someone's life, a life that they weren't present for. And on the other side we have the family of that flesh and blood person, who are understandably concerned about the way their loved one's death will be portrayed:

Fundamentally, the Winehouse family believes that the film does a disservice to individuals and families suffering from the complicated affliction of addiction. By misunderstanding the condition and its treatment, the film suggests for instance that not enough was done for Amy, that her family and management pushed her into performing or did not do enough to help her. [...] As many families know, addiction cannot begin to be treated properly until the individual helps themselves and there is no 'one size fits all' solution.

Addiction is an incredibly fraught topic, and one that's bound to be controversial, particularly as it ties into the story of Winehouse's death.