Mitch Winehouse accused filmmaker Asif Kapadia of trying to portray him in 'the worst possible light' in 'Amy'
The director of new Amy Winehouse documentary Amy has defended himself against criticism recently made by the late singer’s father.
Winehouse passed away in July 2011 at the age of 27, with this new movie focusing on her rise to fame as well as her tragic demise.
Directed by BAFTA-winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia (Senna), the feature-length film will be released on July 3 and will also be screened at Glastonbury Festival next week.
The singer’s father Mitch Winehouse recently claimed that the documentary tries to portray him in “the worst possible light”, revealing that he ordered the film to be re-edited upon viewing its original cut.
Now Kapadia has responded to the comments in an interview with The Independent. He said: “I think this is a film about her and about what went on around her and the people around her. We knew that there would be people who would not like certain things.”
He added: “How can you go into something with an agenda, if when I started, I didn’t know any of the story, or the people? I’m not in the music industry. It was just a question of talking to the people and seeing what the story was. It took a while for people to talk.”
Speaking about what influences him when deciding on his next project, Kapadia stated that the “subjects have to come with questions, continuing: “I don’t make films where I’m a massive fan. But at the same time it intrigued me, there are a lot of questions that I wanted to learn the answers to, and I hope those questions would be intriguing to a lot of the audience.”
The documentary is Kapadia’s first major project shot in London, which the filmmaker says influenced his decision in pursuing it: “I was very aware of the fact that I hadn’t made a film in London. I never found the right script or the right subject… This film became about music, art, north London, the world we live in.”
“I lived in Camden, Primrose Hill and Kentish Town for 10 years. I walked through the area every day. I was intrigued by the idea that this story was going on just along the road and nobody stopped it. Somehow it was inevitable she would die young.”
Despite the film’s inherent tragedy, Kapadia says that Winehouse’s character meant that the footage was still positive. He said: “I was surprised by how funny she was. She was very clever. If you just saw the last few years of her life, you didn’t know. I wasn’t aware of how amazing her lyrics were.”
“Once you read the lyrics, you understand that all the answers are there. There is nothing in the film that isn’t already in the lyrics.”
Meanwhile, The Libertines have discussed how Amy Winehouse inspired their new album. The singer had been a close friend of frontman Pete Doherty, with the band deciding to hang a photo of Winehouse from the wall while they were recording recently in Thailand.
Doherty said: “The studio was quite sparsely decorated, but we did have a little NME front cover of Amy Winehouse over the mixing desk the whole time,” Doherty said. “The one constant in the mixing room, apart from John Hassall, who was always there from dawn to dusk, was the picture of Amy.”
He added: “She was never a massive fan of my songwriting, or at least she never admitted to it! She was a bit of a harsh critic, but in a lot of ways we were kindred spirits, and all the boys loved her. She was quite inspirational as well, because while she was critical, that’s because she had very high standards.”