Amy Winehouse‘s father Mitch Winehouse has again hit out at the makers of a new documentary film about his late daughter.
Amy Winehouse passed away in July 2011 at the age of 27. Amy: The Girl Behind The Name is due to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival later this month, before being released widely on July 3.
It was previously reported that Mitch Winehouse had threatened to begin legal action against director Asif Kapadia and others behind the film. Now, Winehouse has spoken to The Guardian about his grievances with the project.
In the new interview, Winehouse describes his initial excitement for the movie; Kapadia had previously won a Bafta Award for Best British Film with 2010’s Senna. “I thought: this is brilliant,” Winehouse says. “So we thought we were in safe hands.”
“The process started off OK – they asked how we would feel about Blake [Fielder-Civil, Amy’s ex-husband] being in the film… I thought it was nice that they asked me.” However, Winehouse’s lost his enthusiasm after he saw a first edit of the film. “It was horrible,” he says. “I told [the film-makers] that they were a disgrace. I said: ‘You should be ashamed of yourselves. You had the opportunity to make a wonderful film and you’ve made this’.”
Winehouse claims that the film has been unfairly edited, in an attempt to “portray me in the worst possible light”. Discussing one particular scene in which he appears to say that Amy “doesn’t need to go to rehab”, Winehouse defends himself by claiming, “In the film, I’m relating the story, and what I said was: ‘She didn’t need to go to rehab at that time.’ They’ve edited me out saying ‘at that time’.”
Following the singer’s death, her family launched addiction charity the Amy Winehouse Foundation. In his Guardian interview, Winehouse suggests that the film could be detrimental to the project. “[The film-makers are] happy to portray me as a money-grabbing, attention-seeking father who wasn’t there. Amy wouldn’t want that, because Amy knows that is not the truth. My concern is that a potential funder might see this film and go: ‘Why would we want to give money?’ They can say what they like about me, I couldn’t care less, but when it affects the foundation, that’s when it hurts.”
Winehouse continues, “Every day [the foundation] feed[s] 65 homeless kids in Euston… we house them, we feed them, clean them up and get them back into work…Why isn’t that in the film?”
Despite his criticism, Winehouse says he doesn’t discourage people from seeing the film. “I’d like to say to people: ‘Don’t go and see the film’, but that would be depriving her fans of some incredible videos of Amy when she was younger. And I mean incredible. She was funny.”
In response to the claims made by Winehouse in the interview, the filmmakers issued a statement to The Guardian in response: “When we were approached to make the film, we came on board with the full backing of the Winehouse family and we approached the project with total objectivity, as with Senna. During the production process, we conducted in the region of 100 interviews with people who knew Amy Winehouse; friends, family, former partners and members of the music industry who worked with her. The story that the film tells is a reflection of our findings from these interviews.”
Mark Ronson, who collaborated with Amy Winehouse on ‘Valerie’ in 2007, recently spoke openly about the legacy of the singer. Speaking to Esquire, Ronson suggested that the singer’s influence will grow even after her death.
“It’s the same thing as Cobain, Lennon, Tupac and those rock’n’roll legends: [Winehouse’s legacy] will get bigger,” the producer is quoted as saying. “It’d be great if she hadn’t had to die. People would still love the music, ‘cos people loved it when she was around. But her passing is going to have an effect.”