Amy director: ‘Music business needs a re-think’

Amy director Asif Kapadia is pleased the movie made his agent feel guilty about his job.

The film was released earlier this year (15) and told late singer Amy Winehouse’s life story via interviews with her friends, as well as archive footage of Amy. The star passed away in 2011 when she was 27, following a lengthy battle with drug and alcohol addiction.

While her family weren’t impressed with the movie and insisted it didn’t tell her real story, it was a hit with critics. Director Asif hopes it will have a lasting impact on the music industry, and the way new artists are treated.

“There must be some responsibility,” he told Britain’s The Guardian newspaper. “These people are growing up in public. When it’s going well there are a lot of people around them – when it’s not they’re not around. My agent in America saw the film and said it’s the first time he’s felt guilty about what he does for living. I was like, ‘Good!'”

The filmmaker hopes his offering resonates with everyday people too, and encourages them to think about the way celebrities are treated. Amy struggled with her rise to fame and everything from her appearance to her choice of boyfriend was heavily speculated about.

“It was about getting the audience to think about our complicity,” he said. “When you look at it now, she was a kid doing stupid things. You needed a grownup to come in there and stop it.”

The director also made 2010’s Senna, about Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, as well as some lesser-known releases. It means he’s had hits and misses, something he believes is vital in life.

“I’ve had films that everyone hates,” he explained. “If you’ve had ups and downs, maybe you’re toughened. (Amy) made two records: the first one did OK, the second one was a mega hit. What she needed was a failure. One of those difficult third albums that are banged out and nobody bought. Then she’d have had a bit of freedom.”

– Cover Media