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Whitney – Can I Be Me

Whitney Houson’s strong faith and her façade as the well-behaved, white-washed pop darling collided with her turbulent private life. The documentary by experienced pop documentarian Nick Broomfield and Rudi Dolezal presents this contradiction as ...

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The documentary WHITNEY: CAN I BE ME by experienced pop doc filmmakers Nick Broomfield (KURT & COURTNEY) and Rudi Dolezal (around 100 pop documentaries for Austrian TV) casts a wide net in order to explain why the ex superstar died in 2012 at the age of 48. There’s the strict, Baptist upbringing by Whitney’s mother, the gospel singer Cissy, who claims to have “trained” Whitney, there are stories of early drug experiences with her brothers, and statements from music industry managers who branded her as a “clean” black star for the white mainstream audience. Houston’s strong faith collided with her private life and her image as a good, white-washed pop queen. Whitney had a secret relationship with a lesbian woman, Robyn Crawford, for decades – a relationship she never admitted to having to her mother let alone the public. At the same time she was married to R&B singer Bobby Brown and the love triangle caused a lot of issues.

WHITNEY: CAN I BE ME shows backstage footage of Houston’s last successful European tour in 1999 when tensions within Houstons entourage were escalating. There’s a lot of clowning around while being high, which has nothing to do with the ultra-clean image that Houston tried to uphold in interviews. Scenes in which Houston drags her daughter Bobbi Kristina on stage seem very invasive. Bobbi Kristina died at 22, three years after her mother. Houston’s public, controlled, and target group focused life may have helped open up the pop mainstream market to interesting black artists like Aaliyah, Rihanna, or Beyonce, but she was obviously overwhelmed by the role imposed on her.

Hannes Stein

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

Original title: Whitney – Can I Be Me
Großbritannien/USA 2017, 104 min
Genre: Documentary, Music Films
Director: Nick Broomfield, Rudi Dolezal
Author: Nick Broomfield, Rudi Dolezal
DOP: Sam Mitchell
Montage: Marc Hoeferlin
Distributor: Arsenal Filmverleih
FSK: 6
Release: 08.06.2017

Website
IMDB

Screenings

Screenings

  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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