Amy Winehouse performing

REVIEW: Reclaiming Amy

A decade on from the death of Amy Winehouse this documentary seeks to challenge the singer’s reputation for drugs and addiction and reclaim her as a daughter and friend.

Narrated by her mother, the documentary sets out the memories of the family and friends “closest to” Winehouse, pairing voiceover with videos of her singing at school, and winning five Grammys. 

Particularly harrowing in this emotionally-charged work is the grief that the speakers still feel. 

It is agonising to hear Winehouse’s mother relive identifying her daughter’s body, or to watch her expression when she sees the singer’s belongings for the first time in ten years.

However, the film has a couple of jarring moments. 

This happens when her friend Catriona reveals her sexual relationship with Winehouse, or when the parents protest that their daughter could not have been affected by their divorce. 

Failing to interview Winehouse’s ex-husband also seems a notable omission.

Yet in its lack of objectivity, the documentary becomes more intimate. 

Though it lacks new information about Winehouse, the strength of Reclaiming Amy comes in showing the love she had as a daughter and friend, and recognising the tragedy of addiction rather than assigning blame – as earlier documentaries have sought to.

Featured image credit: NRK P3 via Flickr under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license

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