Asif Kapadia’s previous feature, Senna, has become one of my favourite documentaries. Eschewing the conventional talking heads format, Kapadia constructs a narrative through archive footage, negotiating his way through hours of footage.
His latest effort takes the same approach, using home videos and other archive footage, to depict the short life of Amy Winehouse. Whilst I have no doubt that Kapadia will create a fine documentary, I am slightly perturbed as to his chosen subject and focus, seeming far removed from his previous work. Since Winehouse’s death in 2011 there has been, for whatever reason, a continued focus and effort from her family to promote her work and her life. This is more notable given the apparent focus in Kapadia’s documentary in which Winehouse makes it clear that she was never after fame. The trailer itself presents little, using soundbites from Winehouse herself as well as featuring a stripped down version of perhaps her best known song, ‘Back to Black.’