As the world collectively prepares for the release of the Amy Winehouse documentary Amy: The Girl Behind the Name, the Winehouse family continues their campaign to put a stop to the film’s release. Amy’s father Mitch Winehouse has gone as far as to call the film’s producers “a disgrace,” claiming that they “should be ashamed” of the film’s shoddy depiction of Amy Winehouse’s tragic spiral into addiction that eventually led to her death in 2011.
Although the Winehouse family is now opposed to the film, this has not always been the case. When Mitch Winehouse was first approached by the film’s director Asif Kapadia he expressed his excitement for the project. “We thought we were in safe hands,” he claimed regarding the director who had recently won a Bafta Award for Best British Film for his 2010 effort Senna. Winehouse claims that the process got off to a good start, with Kapadia looking to the family regarding certain decisions such as including Amy Winehouse’s ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil in the film.
It wasn’t until the family saw the first edit of the film that they realized that the project was not an ideal portrayal of Amy Winehouse, her family, and her legacy. Winehouse claims that the film is attempting to portray him “in the world possible light,” citing one example from the film where a comment about Amy Winehouse’s need for rehab was misconstrued. “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’.”
The production team for Amy: The Girl Behind the Name has responded to the Winehouse’s complaints with an official press release of their own. “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.” They went on to refute claims that they went into the project with a bias by adding “we conducted in the region of 100 interviews with people who knew Amy Winehouse. The story that the film tells is a reflection of our findings from these interviews.”
Amy: The Girl Behind the Name is expected to debut at Cannes Film Festival later in May before an official release on July 3. Although Mitch Winehouse and the remainder of Amy Winehouse’s family dislike the film, they claim that they will not ask fans not to attend screenings. “That would be depriving her fans of some incredible videos of Amy when she was younger. And I mean incredible. She was funny.”