Skip To Content
The Schmooze

‘Amy’ Filmmaker Defends Documentary Despite Criticism

A much-anticipated documentary about the late British singer Amy Winehouse hits cinemas next week amid a dispute between its makers and her father, who has called the film misleading.

Mitch Winehouse has disassociated himself from “AMY,” which follows the Grammy Award winner from her childhood to her death.

The biopic uses home videos, photos, reports and performances to show Winehouse’s path to a career as an acclaimed singer. She died from alcohol poisoning aged 27 in July 2011.

The film, narrated by the singer herself as well as by friends, family and colleagues, premiered in Europe at the Cannes Film Festival in May and had its U.S. premiere on Thursday.

“All of these people are part of her life, in one way or another they were all very close to her … but at times unfortunately they were pulling her in different directions,” director Asif Kapadia said in a promotional interview in Cannes.

“When she wasn’t particularly well, I think it made it more difficult and complicated for her to manage.”

Mitch Winehouse has said he was not happy with the way the filmmakers had portrayed him and that they had missed details such as an interview the singer’s boyfriend, Reg Traviss.

“You can’t keep everyone happy but what I will say is the vast majority of people who knew her well and who have seen the movie really like it,” producer James Gay-Rees added.

“Quite frankly the movie isn’t about Reg, it isn’t about Mitch, it’s about Amy and I deny anybody to tell me she doesn’t come out of the movie brilliantly because she does … it’s a much more organic whole representation of who she was.”

Winehouse, known for hits like “Rehab” and “Back to Black,” was seen as one of the most talented musicians of her generation. She struggled with drinking and drug problems throughout much of her career.

“She was able to sing jazz, R&B and had a killer voice but also had a modern perspective,” her ex-manager Nick Shymansky said at the premiere. “AMY” hits UK and U.S. cinemas on July 3.


I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.