Amy Winehouse Doc: Late Singer's Father Speaks Out Against Film
'Amy' is released in the U.S. and U.K. this weekend, but Mitch Winehouse hasn't joined those heaping praise upon the film about his troubled daughter.
Amy, Asif Kapadia’s at times harrowing chronicling of the rise and untimely fall of British singing sensation Amy Winehouse, is released in both the U.K. and U.S. this weekend. Since it first bowed in Cannes, the film has received near unanimous acclaim, lauded for capturing Winehouse’s artistry and addictions through intimate clips and interviews with many of those who knew her and worked with her. But one almost lone critical voice has come from Mitch Winehouse, the late musician’s father. Here’s a collection of what he’s had to say on the matter so far.
On seeing the documentary for the first time
“I felt sick when I watched it for the first time,” Mitch Winehouse told The Sun before Amy debuted in Cannes. “Amy would be furious. This is not what she would have wanted.”
On how he comes across in the film
“They are trying to portray me in the worst possible light,” he told The Guardian. The film links the famous line “if my daddy thinks I’m fine” from the track “Rehab” with Mitch Winehouse assuring his daughter that she didn’t need treatment for alcoholism in 2005. But he claims that while she was binge drinking, she wasn't drinking every day. “What I said was she didn’t need to go to rehab at that time,” he claimed. “They’ve edited me out saying ‘at that time.’”
Later in the film, Mitch is seen in St. Lucia with a film crew, and Amy appears angry that her attempts to escape from the U.K. media’s constant surveillance have been punctured by her own father making a documentary. “I was making a film about the struggle of families dealing with additions,” he claimed. “I said to Amy: ‘Can I bring this film crew?’ and she said: ‘Do what you like, Dad.’”
On having a scene removed
A segment in the film that claimed Amy spent one Christmas alone was, according to Mitch Winehouse, removed at his request, adding that she was due to visit her mother. “Amy being Amy, she didn’t go to her mum,” he explained to The Sun. “So my son Alex went over to her place so that she wasn’t on her own. We created such a fuss over this that they took the scene out. It was not true and extremely hurtful.”
Mitch claimed that a video that had her walking alone in London wasn’t taken at Christmas as she had been wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt.
On Amy Winehouse’s ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil
Mitch has been highly critical of the time the film offers to Fielder-Civil, who has admitted that he introduced Amy to heroin.
“Blake is saying in the film that the reason Amy was like that was because of me — not because he gave her crack and heroin and because he completely manipulated and coerced her into Class A drugs,” he told The Sun. “If the real truth came out about Blake, he wouldn’t be able to walk down the street, so how they can allow him to make that claim about me is so hurtful and beyond belief.”
On taking legal action
Before Amy’s Cannes bow, Mitch Winehouse told BBC radio that he would look to “sue for damages” if the cut screened at the festival was shown to misrepresent him, later telling The Sun that he would wait to consider the possibility of “libel or slander” once the film had been released. “Our lawyers will view the film and reserve the right to do that and see whether there are any grounds,” he said.
On boycotting the film
Despite his grievances, Mitch has still urged people to see the documentary. “There is film of Amy that is fabulous,” he tweeted. “You should see it. Make up your own minds about the rest of the film.”