Amy Winehouse documentary a UK box office hit
The Amy Winehouse documentary is a box office hit in the UK. Latest figures show that the Asif Kapadia-directed Amy has grossed £3.44 million (A$7.3 million).
It is now the second highest grossing documentary in the UK, after Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 from 2004 which took £6.5 million ($13.8 million). It has overtaken Kapadia’s earlier award-winning Senna, about the former F1 ace Senna Ayrton, which brought in £3.17 million ($6.76 million). It also beat the £3.3 million ($7 million) haul of March Of The Penguins.
The people behind Amy say that its success shows that Winehouse, who died in July 2011 at 27 from accidental alcohol poisoning, “is still a massive star.” It included unseen footage and previously unreleased tracks.
Producer James Gay-Rees said, "It feels like the country has fallen in love with her all over again and it is hugely satisfying to have helped create a more rounded picture of someone who was so massively misunderstood when she was here. It was a massive honour to have been given the chance to tell her story."
Amy takes a fresh look at the singer songwriter whose battle against drugs and booze overshadowed her undeniable talents. Asif Kapadia said that as he researched more into Winehouse’s life and death, he became increasingly “angry” at the way the public laughed at her mental illness and “wanted the audience to be angry" too.
But Amy’s success has created more controversy about the star.
The film people have lashed out at comments made by her father Mitch Winehouse on Australian TV, on Channel 7’s Sunrise, that she was engaged to be married to boyfriend Reg Traviss and might have been pregnant to him at one point. They got together after her divorce from Blake Fielder-Civil.
Amy editor Chris King told the London Sun, "Everyone said they were a nice couple and they got on, but she had a number of other relationships. We don't know she was actually engaged. I don't think we ever found any evidence of that."
Members of the Winehouse family say there are inaccuracies in Amy and that they are planning to make a documentary of their own.
They say that it completely leaves Traviss out (because the film makers deemed his relationship with the singer “uninteresting”) and that Mitch comes across as an absent father who blocked his daughter from going to rehab when he staged interventions and organised treatment as she went into a self-destructive path. Mitch, who wrote the book Amy My Daughter helped set up The Amy Winehouse Foundation which has raised £700 million ($1.5 billion) to support young people with drug and alcohol problems.