Amy Winehouse's family have slammed the upcoming documentary Amy, saying they consider the film to be "misleading" and biased against the family. "The Winehouse family would like to disassociate themselves from the forthcoming film about their much missed and beloved Amy," a spokesperson for the Winehouse family said in a statement.
"They feel that the film is a missed opportunity to celebrate her life and talent and that it is both misleading and contains some basic untruths," the statement continued. "There are specific allegations made against family and management that are unfounded and unbalanced." Amy is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
Speaking to The Sun on Sunday, Amy's father Mitch Winehouse said of seeing the film, "I felt sick when I watched it for the first time. Amy would be furious. This is not what she would have wanted." As seen in the film's trailer, the Asif Kapadia-directed documentary uses archival footage, interviews and previously unseen recordings to reconstruct Winehouse's rise to fame and eventual descent.
"We came on board with the full backing of the Winehouse family, and we approached the project with total objectivity," a documentary spokesperson said in a statement. "We conducted in the region of 100 interviews with people that knew Amy. The story that the film tells is a reflection of our findings from these interviews."
In the family's statement, the Winehouse family also accuses filmmakers of only interviewing "a narrow sample" of the singer's associates, "many of whom had nothing to do with her in the last years." The family was reportedly upset that the filmmakers interviewed Blake Fielder-Civil, Winehouse's ex-husband who her family feels enabled the singer. In the film, Fielder-Civil blames Winehouse's addictions on her father.
"Blake is saying in the film that the reason Amy was like that was because of me — not because he gave her crack and heroin and because he completely manipulated and coerced her into Class A drugs," Mitch Winehouse said. "If the real truth came out about Blake, he wouldn't be able to walk down the street, so how they can allow him to make that claim about me is so hurtful and beyond belief."
"Fundamentally, the Winehouse family believes that the film does a disservice to individuals and families suffering from the complicated affliction of addiction," the Winehouse family statement read. "By misunderstanding the condition and its treatment, the film suggests for instance that not enough was done for Amy, that her family and management pushed her into performing or did not do enough to help her."
Despite not having the family's approval, Mitch Winehouse admitted there isn't much he can do to prevent the film from heading to movie theaters; the U.K. release is scheduled for July. However, he did threaten legal action against Amy's producers. "We can't stop it, but when the film does come out, we can sue for libel or slander. Our lawyers will view the film and reserve the right to do that and see whether there are any grounds," Mitch Winehouse said.
Read the entire Winehouse family statement below:
"The Winehouse family would like to disassociate themselves from the forthcoming film about their much missed and beloved Amy. The documentary about her life will be released this summer and receive its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.
They feel that the film is a missed opportunity to celebrate her life and talent and that it is both misleading and contains some basic untruths. There are specific allegations made against family and management that are unfounded and unbalanced. The narrative is formed by the testimony of a narrow sample of Amy’s associates, many of whom had nothing to do with her in the last years of her life. Counter views expressed to the filmmakers did not make the final cut.
Fundamentally, the Winehouse family believes that the film does a disservice to individuals and families suffering from the complicated affliction of addiction. By misunderstanding the condition and its treatment, the film suggests for instance that not enough was done for Amy, that her family and management pushed her into performing or did not do enough to help her. In reality, the filmmakers were told of a huge effort from all concerned to help Amy at all stages of her illness and their constant presence in her life throughout, as well as that of many excellent medical professionals.
As many families know, addiction cannot begin to be treated properly until the individual helps themselves and there is no 'one size fits all' solution. Furthermore, Amy was an adult who could never be told what she could and could not do. Through their work with the Amy Winehouse Foundation, Amy's family have met many others enduring through the same struggle that they endured and have helped hundreds of disadvantaged young people in Amy's name. They will continue to do so and hope their work creates more understanding of a terrible illness."