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'Amy,' the documentary about Amy Winehouse, is a powerfully sad experience

Asif Kapadia's film is also an indictment of the media for its nonstop, malign insensitivities as Winehouse struggled with addiction.

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    In this file photo dated Friday, July 4, 2008, Jazz Soul singer Amy Winehouse, from England, performs during the Rock in Rio music festival in Arganda del Rey, on the outskirts of Madrid. A new movie entitled 'Amy' directed by Asif Kapadia, is scheduled for release on Friday July 3, 2015.
    Victor R. Caivano/AP
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Amy Winehouse, who died at age 27 in 2011 from alcohol poisoning, was a prodigiously gifted jazz singer whose descent into addiction robbed the world of a great career. (Tony Bennett, with whom she sang, likened her talent to Billie Holiday’s.) Asif Kapadia’s documentary “Amy,” which draws on much archival footage and home movies, is a powerful, and powerfully sad, experience.

It’s also an indictment of the media for its nonstop, malign insensitivities as Winehouse was spiraling out of control. Jay Leno, for example, is shown celebrating Winehouse on his show at the peak of her career. You can only cringe later when Kapadia includes a clip of him jeering her addictions for a cheap laugh. Grade: B+ (Rated R for language and drug material.)

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