She had a voice like no one had heard before, which helped make her the undisputed “Queen of Pop” from the late 80s through the 90s. She was dead by 2012, aged only 48, her body ravaged by years of drug and alcohol abuse. Now, acclaimed British filmmaker Kevin Macdonald (Touching the Void) looks back at Whitney Houston’s life and work in this documentary biography with a keenly journalistic but hugely sympathetic eye, talking to family, friends and colleagues to paint a classically epic portrait of fame and celebrity, talent and demons—one we’re all too familiar with, yet one that rarely features a woman at its center, and an African-American woman almost never. Macdonald digs up potentially sensational tidbits about Houston’s childhood and the secrets of her adult life that may help explain why, as someone here says sadly, “deep down she was a girl in pain.” Yet he handles them with grace and maintains a dignity on behalf of his subject that, combined with a get-up-and-dance deployment of her music, may well bring her a new generation of fans. And rightly so.
Director: Kevin Macdonald
Producer: Simon Chinn, Jonathan Chinn, Lisa Erspamer, Nicole David, Pat Houston, Will Clarke, Andy Mayson, Mike Runagall, Zanne Devine, Rosanne Korenberg and Joe Patrick