Review: Nick Broomfield doesn’t get to point the finger in Whitney Can I Be Me

Nick Broomfield's documentary Whitney: Can I Be Me. Picture: Dogwoof/David Corio

Nick Broomfield's documentary Whitney: Can I Be Me. Picture: Dogwoof/David Corio - Credit: Archant

The documentary maker offers up an array of suspects in this solid, efficient, but slightly anonymous chronicle of the singing superstar's decline and death.

Whitney: Can I Be Me (15)

***

Usually a Nick Broomfield film about a deceased music artist will be in search of someone to blame. Who killed Kurt Cobain? Who killed Tupac?

This film about the singer who died aged 48 from an overdose offers up an array of suspects, but doesn't get to point the finger.


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Even Whitney's philandering berk husband Bobby Brown appears to have genuinely loved her, in his own crap way. They all meant well but were all just a little too weak, a little too dependent on her, a little too drunk or stoned to sound the alarm.

Broomfield is famous for face-on-camera, dangling-a-boommike style of documentary which trailblunder a path for everybody from Michael Moore to Louis Theroux.

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But for Whitney, he is heard and not seen, conducting interviews with the members of her entourage willing to speak to him.

Most of the film though is archive footage, a lot of it taken from an unreleased backstage documentary about the German leg of her 1999 world tour in which her life was just beginning to unravel.

The result is a solid, efficient, but slightly anonymous chronicle of her decline.

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