The teaser for “Amy,” a documentary about the life and death of singer Amy Winehouse, makes its vision clear in the opening moments.
There’s a shot of Winehouse recording her song “Back to Black,” where she repeats the word “black” several times. She turns to the camera and says with a laugh, “It’s a bit upsetting at the end, isn’t it?”
The documentary, which premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, traces the arc of Winehouse’s rise to stardom in the music world, the relentless tabloid and paparazzi attention that accompanied it, and her death from accidental alcohol poisoning. It’s earned rave reviews at the festival, but some of the people close to her are not happy.
Reg Traviss, who was engaged to Winehouse when she died in 2011, writes in the Telegraph that “Amy” is “what can only be described as a fictionalized biopic centered around a distorted depiction of Amy’s life. It upsets me that this film may now shape how people remember her.”
Traviss, a “reluctant” interview subject in the film, says director Asif Kapadia (“Senna”) and the filmmakers “effectively attack her. They claim to have made a serious, unbiased documentary that presents an honest depiction of Amy. Instead, they have taken her name and exploited her talent for their own ends.”
“Amy” opens in limited release July 3.