The Latvian premiere of AMY to take place at the Riga International Film Festival
“She was a true, natural jazz singer. And she should be mentioned with Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holliday,” says Tony Bennett with whom Amy Winehouse recorded her final song – Body and Soul. Four years ago – haunted by addiction and emotional hardships – the talented singer joined the so called Club 27 comprised of artists to leave this world at that young age. Praised in Cannes and Edinburgh, the documentary entitled simply AMY will see it’s Latvian premiere at the Riga IFF (Riga International FIlm Festival) that will take place October 15 to 25.
Grand talent, furious demons, fighting bulimia, alcohol and drug addiction, paparazzi attacks and a troubled private life – ever since the release of the album Back To Black (2007) Amy Winehouse was always in an everglowing spotlight. But only few knew what really went on inside her.
Using home video and tabloid coverage, interviews with Amy’s friends and her father, the documentary uncovers her career from the very first steps when the singer – only a little girl craving father’s attention went on to put her heart into musical expression. None doubted her talent as a jazz vocalist, in her voice many heard the rustle of an older, more beautiful world – the world of divas like Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington. But Winehouse was a diamond in the rough who got ground in millstones of commercial entertainment industry. One she did not give up – her unique style, her Cleopatra look, her 21st century Ronettes sway, her careless London chic, that earned a handful of disdain.
Director Asif Kapadia reveals the life of Amy with care – from her childhood to her demise in July 23, 2011. It is Winhouse herself telling the story on the big screen – her dreams, her fame, her love and of course – her music. Since it’s premiere AMY has been receiving praise and acknowledgement of Kapadia’s nearly impossible feat – to capture an honest perspective on Amy’s struggle to delve into music whilst trying to escape fame. Even though the Winehouse family doesn’t take kindly to Kapadia’s
work, deeming it a misinterpretation of the actual facts. Her father has called it even “absurd”.
Kapadia is the author of several documentaries including Cannes-prized Sheep Thief (1997), London, Edinburgh, Rotterdam and Karlovy Vary screened and BAFTA awarded Warrior (2001) and Sienna (2010) that conquered Sundance. The Riga International Film Festival will screen AMY as part of it’s Riga IFF Selection programme.
Tickets to all screenings will be available, starting October 1; until then the festival is offering a special Festival Pass to all of the festival’s films. The price of the pass is 25 euros; and only before October 1.