After watching Amy, the new documentary about Amy Winehouse, I decided I could never again listen to the late singer's hit song "Rehab."
While we know she wrote the song about her own life, the new film from director shows Asif Kapadia shows us just how tragically true her lyrics really were.
"I don't think she liked the song," Kapadia recently told me. "It's dark and it's a cry for help. I think she was surprised it became a hit. The trouble was already there, but that's when it really kicked off. That song becomes, I think, the thing that she hated. People wanted her to sing it and she's singing it with a drink in her hand. It's a cry for help. Every time she's says, 'No,' she's saying, 'Yes.'"
Winehouse was just 27 when she died four years age from accidental alcohol poisoning.
Amy is a powerful portrait of addiction. So many films of this nature will first show the good times, when drinking and drugging were seemingly fun and glamorous.
Kapadia's film has none of that. There was never glamour behind Winehouse's substance abuse. Not only was she abusing drugs and alochol, but the film reminds us that she also suffered from bulimi..
"I want young kids to see it," Kapadia said. "I want 12-year-old girls to see this. Problem is it's got an R-rating here."
Amy also points a finger at the media, particularly the tabloid press and paparazzi. Late night talk show hosts are shown cracking jokes about Winehouse shortly before her death.
"Humiliating someone who basically has a mental illness is sick," Kapadia said.
He then recalled a lunch he recently had with a Hollywood executive. "There's somebody right now who we all know, a young kid whose got too much money, has no one saying no, who's getting into car accidents and getting into trouble and [the executive] says, 'I can't wait for this guy to die,'" Kapadia said. "How can you say that? What's your problem? She just thought she was so clever and I was like, 'That's stupid. That's an ignorant thing to say.'"
Amy is in theaters tomorrow in New York and Los Angeles followed by a nationwide release July 10.