‘Can I be me?’ This is the central question in both Nick Broomfield’s new documentary about American singing sensation Whitney Houston and the one that would haunt her herself under the punishing glares of celebrity and fame.
Similar to the Oscar-winning ‘Amy’, ‘Whitney Houston: Can I Be Me’ reveals the contradictions of a life blessed with talent and the demands put upon it by those closest to her. Using extensive interviews with her family, entourage and security detail , also intercut with previously unseen home video footage, a fractured talent emerges – one caught between the competing demands of the music business, her fans and her culture.
…Nick Broomfield’s documentary uncovers the darkness of Whitney Houston’s isolation.
Far from being a saccharine’d celebration of her musical career, Nick Broomfield’s documentary uncovers the darkness of Whitney Houston’s isolation and shines a light upon the dependencies she would use to quiet them down. Remarkably frank in its tone, and patient in its questioning, this is a documentary that succeeds in building an intimate portrait of a rare talent at every stage of her life.
Despite this story’s well publicised destination and flash-bulb’d ending, ‘Whitney Houston: Can I Be Me?’ is a sober and thoughtful documentary which approaches its subject in a much more sensitive way than was afforded to her in life.