British documentarian Asif Kapadia's film on singer Amy Winehouse's tragic and precipitous drug- and alcohol-induced fall from stardom is riveting and nearly unbearably depressing. Comprising mostly the personal video shot by Winehouse herself and her friends and concert footage, the film traces in unblinking detail the Grammy-winner's steady rise from obscurity as a club act to international superstardom and every false move and bad decision she made, most of which involved the parasitic men in her life. Winehouse's death in 2011 at age 27 was sudden but not entirely unexpected as much of her notoriety was rooted in her seemingly self-destructive addictions. Though she was working through a recovery at the time of her death, the damage had been done and her heart gave out. Kapadia makes it clear in his fine picture that Winehouse was genuinely loved by most people in her life but she could not manage to love herself.  Recommended but terribly grim.


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