Amy Winehouse in 2007. Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Amy Winehouse in 2007. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The filmmakers behind the Oscar-winning documentary feature about Amy Winehouse said Sunday night they feel the film’s popularity is an exoneration of sorts for the troubled British singer.

“Amy,” the highest-grossing British documentary of all time, chronicles the life and somber demise of the troubled performer, who had well- publicized bouts with drug and alcohol abuse before dying in 2011 at age 27.

Producer James Gay-Rees and director Asif Kapadia said backstage at the Dolby Theatre that Winehouse was demonized by an inaccurate public perception as an out-of- control “train wreck.”

“The story is that Amy had become a sort of punching bag,” Kapadia said. “What’s happened (as a result of the film) is the perception has changed.”

Gay-Rees said Winehouse’s friends came to him and Kapadia when they heard the two were doing a film on the singer and demanded they show her in a softer light.

“We were told by her friends to make sure they got the real Amy, not the public Amy, the one who was a lovely, beautiful, talented person,” the producer said.

“We wanted to do a film about Amy, but it became about everyone else and what they did and how they portrayed her,” he said. “We want to make people think before they send that tweet.”

Counting tonight’s Oscar, the film has wracked up 33 nominations and won 27 awards, including a Grammy this year for best music film, best European documentary at the 2015 European Film Awards and best documentary at the British Academy Film Awards.

The success of the film, based largely on insights from those who knew her best, also led Winehouse to receive her second posthumous nomination at the 2016 BRIT Awards for “Best British Female Solo Artist.”

–City News Service

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