Monday, July 13, 2015

The Amy Winehouse documentary.



Well, that was devastating.

Saturday night I went to see the Amy Winehouse documentary, Amy. I walked in there with the assumption what I was about to see was going to be sad and upsetting, and I wasn't wrong. What I underestimated was the way in which the film would really stick with me. I thought about it all night, and yesterday I spent a good part of the day just exhausted by it.

I was a fan of Amy Winehouse, so I was familiar with some of her story, but I wasn't aware of how many ups and downs there were. Seeing it all in a two-hour span is really heavy. I especially liked her second album, since it was darker. Seeing why it was darker makes the album so fucking bleak now.

It’s a truly upsetting story. Yes, she was infamously talented to a degree that just cements her as an icon, but when you hear and see about how sweet she was, and how much she needed help, it's just really hard to watch.

It’s a really well done film, almost disgustingly so since it uses so much media and paparazzi footage, which was part of the curse the pushed her so much. . .

It's hard, because you know what's coming for her. . .

There are parts of her story that were really under-represented and which really pulled at me. Namely her bulimia. At one point they show footage of her that - to me, as someone in recovery - clearly see as tell-tale signs. Throughout the film it’s just so obvious how much she needs help, and how desperate she is for a strong presence in her life. Bulimia was first. Then alcoholism and drugs. But overall, her substance abuse rarely masks her pain. It’s just always so obvious, increasingly so as she becomes famous and those around her are clearly leeching as much as they can.

It was really hard to watch.

I don’t have any personal experience with substance abuse. I am at a loss at how someone would intervene, how someone can help, especially when the addicted mind is treacherous and mental health and clarity can be so volatile. I wanted to be a friend to Amy the whole time I was watching the film. I wanted to take her away and take care of her. I wanted to tell those around her to back the fuck off.

Some of her roughest points were when she was in her early 20’s (she died when she was 27). I was a hot, lost mess in my early 20’s. I was barely human. I’m 31 now. I could have killed myself numerous times. So much of her story just digs into me. In my early 20’s - in a shit relationship, had the fire of my hot mess been added the fuel of addiction and money - how bad could it have gotten?

It makes me sad.

Her father was the fucking worst. Apparently he’s really not happy with the documentary - and it’s not hard to see why. He fucked off early on in her life and showed up when she started making money. He was very clearly manipulative of her, and there are just some really uncomfortable scenes in the movie where his motives are just fucking gross.

I might have my scars from my father's death, but I have no doubts about how much he cared for me, or about what he valued in me. I'm grateful for that. I had 13 years with a good father. That's worth so much when you see some of the alternatives.

I'm happy I saw the film. It just shook up a lot of stuff, that I'm still sorting through some of it.

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