Whitney: Can I Be Me
Year:
2017
Country:
USA, UK
Genre:
Music, Documentary
IMDB rating:
6.5
Director:
Rudi Dolezal, Nick Broomfield
Bobby Brown as Himself (archive footage)
Robyn Crawford as Herself (archive footage)
David Roberts as Himself
John Russell Houston Jr. as Himself (archive footage)
Cissy Houston as Herself
Whitney Houston as Herself (archive footage)
Storyline: By the time Whitney Elizabeth Houston was 15, she was singing background vocals for Chaka Khan, Lou Rawls, and Jermaine Jackson. In 1983 Whitney signed a worldwide recording contract with Clive Davis's Arista Records. However her success came with its fair share of drug use, love affairs, and scandals.
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
1080p 1920x1080 px 7834 Mb h264 10848 Kbps mkv Download
720p 1280x720 px 4475 Mb h264 6197 Kbps mkv Download
HQ DVD-rip 720x404 px 1283 Mb h264 1777 Kbps mkv Download


Reviews
Mixed Bag Documentary - Wonderful Concert Footage
I saw this at the Sydney Film Festival where both showings for this documentary were sold out.

The documentary is a mixed bag. It is at times insightful, at times exploitative and sensationalist, and at other times thrilling to see Whitney performing in concert and seeing her backstage.

There are a few concert footage songs and they are amazing! Even Whitney singing in her hotel room is amazing. This is footage from her 1999 "My Love Is Your Love" tour, showing concert and backstage footage, and life on the road with some of her crew, including husband Bobby Brown and her best friend Robyn Crawford. This glimpse into her life is interesting and gives some rare insight.

The rest of the film is largely interviews with people who worked with Whitney, such as her bodyguard, hairdresser, and band members etc., and it is spliced with footage that Whitney fans most likely have already seen but others probably haven't.

The documentary wouldn't be much without the concert footage and it is lucky to have it. That is where we see and hear Whitney's music. The most interesting part is actually seeing Whitney. Other footage they could get of Whitney is from shows like MTV or the American Music Awards.

The talking head interviews are with people who knew Whitney and they provide their own opinions. They are ultimately their own opinions. It is up to the viewer to decide whether they believe them or not. But they did work with and know Whitney to some extent. Their opinions range from their thoughts on her husband Bobby, to her sexuality, to her family, and to drugs.

The cinema audience I was with applauded at the end.

The most I got out of it was the concert footage performances, what there was of it. It was fantastic to see and hear on the big screen. I could've watched 2 hours of that.

I do feel I have more of an idea of Whitney and her life as an artist and public figure after watching this.

Ultimately, though, what stays with you is the music. The performances. Whitney.
2017-06-13
please leave her alone they are using her
This 'special' has been presented by someone who has been told that that fallen for it. It's like the chubby girl who has been told by her parents that the peach dress she's wearing looks great - and then when she wears it outside, still stubbornly believes that it looks great because her mum and dad are right and the rest of the world must be blind or something!
2017-06-25
Eye Opening
At one point in my life, Whitney was the woman with the voice that made me long to be a singer. I absolutely idolized her. Her struggles with drug addiction was so disappointing to me, as was her death as a result of that struggle.

For me, this was an extremely honest, eye opening documentary that made me both sad and angry. We were always lead to believe Bobby was who got her into drugs. Finding out that she'd been doing drugs since she was a child - in my opinion - is a game changer. And the fact that her family took massive advantage of, and controlled, her, all the while enabling her addiction is just absolutely sickening. As for her relationship with Robyn, it's a damn shame the relationship couldn't have been what it should've been able to be.

For those who gave low scores on this documentary... Sometimes the truth isn't pretty. It can be ugly. It can be hard to hear. Sometimes it's just downright sad. It doesn't make it wrong to tell the story. In fact, sometimes it makes it more important for the story to be told.
2017-09-04
Heartfelt homage
Whitney Houston's story is not in the end a happy one, but this film celebrates the woman behind the image, humanizing her in a way not previously accomplished in earlier films. With never-before-seen footage, the filmmakers capture Whitney and her world up-close, from before she was famous through her ultimate decline. What's special about this film is the lack of judgment present; it is up to the viewer to determine what might have been done to protect a fragile soul from the brutality of fame. The film captures Whitney's brilliance as a vocalist, her likability as a person, and her vulnerability to those who did not have her best interests at heart. Her story is both breathtaking and heartbreaking, told by filmmakers sympathetic to her as a person, affording her a dignity not seen in previous bios.
2017-06-23
Respectful, but nothing special.
Being a big fan I could not wait to watch this special. But it was anything but special. From the moment it starts it is a man talking about Whitney Houston's life and achievements with photos of her flashing in the background. If you have ever watched TV or picked up a magazine then you already know everything this show has to offer.
2017-05-29
Empty promise
"People say, Whitney died from an overdose of drugs. I know, Whitney Houston actually died from a broken heart." What a promising introduction into this documentary, making you wonder about the profound complexity of the background of this tragic death. However, since the - technically well done - film does not address the events during the last 10 years of her life, it is eventually leaving you wondering, without presenting an answer. Did she simply die of a drug overdose anyway? As it turns out, the intriguing prelude was just an empty promise. What a pity!
2017-10-30
Cracked at the top
Nick Broomfield tends to make controversial documentaries. He usually turns up with a camera and a boom mike and ensures chaos unfolds.

Whitney: Can I Be Me is a departure from Broomfield's usual documentary style. Using archive footage as well as interviewing some people who worked or were close to Whitney we see a person who came up from gospel singing and crossed over to pop and made it big in the USA and around the world.

In 1992 when she got an acting role in The Bodyguard, her profile went to the stratosphere. The film was a commercial hit, the songs became best sellers. Whitney's cover of I Will Always Love You has become an enduring hit.

Yet in 1992 she also married singer Bobby Brown despite some years of rumours about her sexuality. Brown was riding high as a pop star at the time, the general consensus was this was a union that would not last.

The trouble was it led to Houston going on a destructive path. Keen to hide her sexuality, wanting a child, her conflict with her and her family's deep religious convictions. Houston increasingly found solace in drugs as Brown and Houston engaged in wild living, he was also having affairs and she also had her own special friend in Robyn Crawford.

Undoubtedly this is a sad documentary. A life wasted and cut short. We see footage of another documentary that was shot in 1999 which followed Whitney in her last major world tour. After that her recording output declined, so did her voice but her erratic behaviour increased.

I think Broomfield himself liked her, hence a rather respectful approach. As her long term bodyguard commented, Whitney could had been saved but those around her were not interested in keeping her off drugs.
2017-09-02
please don't do this man
needs to rethink the choices of stick with material that somebody else wrote . This is not entertaining at all. After watching this I felt like Ace Ventura after he found out Einhorn was a man. Had to vomit, burn the clothes I was wearing, try to plunger the show out of my head, and just sat in the shower trying to wash this show away. So bad. So awful. Doesn't even deserve 1 star.please
2017-07-03
First real documentary about Whitney!
Let me start by saying the 5,6 rating for this documentary is an absolute and disgraceful joke! This is the first real and honest documentary about Whitney, after she sadly passed away.

This is a documentary Whitney would have wanted! It portrayed her as a very nice, warm and spontaneous woman.

Many people who were close to her or close around her for many years tell their story. Cissy Houston, Bobby Brown and Robyn Crawford weren't a part of this documentary but to me, that wasn't a problem.

The people who were so close around her knew exactly what was going on. They all tell a very honest story. There is a lot of archive footage going with their stories, which only adds to what they all have to say.

Whitney's story is a sad and frustrating one that has everything to do with powerlessness. I won't tell more about the story, just watch the documentary for yourself, it's really worth it.

The footage from Whitney's My Love Is Your Love World Tour from 1999 has never been seen before. It is great to see for every Whitney fan.

The big bonus is the concert footage you get to see. Some breathtaking performances, although only parts, who will give you goosebumps. The behind the scenes and concert footage really adds a dramatic effect to the documentary.

Nick Broomfield did a great job in putting the stories and footage together.

Whitney was and always will be one of the giants in the music industry. Let's remember her for the sweet woman she was, and that voice, oh yes that voice..the best there ever was!
2017-06-24
Brutally honest and sad documentary about a wonderful artist
I do not understand the bad mention this documentary has received. It is actually quite good. Whitney Houston was one of the biggest pop stars in the 80's and in the 90's. Maybe one of the greatest ever? She was a mega star. A pop queen. This documentary basically takes a look into her tragic life, documenting her way down. The film is good in that it both depicts the backside of the fame, but also gives an insight into a person with bad self-esteem, dealing with people who was dependent on her money, but had no love for her. Those who tried to take care of her, was pushed away. It shows brutally that fame and money do not give any happiness, but leads to inhumane pressure from many teams. Whitney Houston's life ended tragically, but luckily the film also shows that she was a great artist, a natural talent and who also took a fair amount of choice. Good or bad ones. What made the deepest impression of the film,is the insight of her unhappiness. It's heartbreaking. This film is very honest in this way. Those who take part, really have insight in different ways. The only person missing is Robin Crawford. Her best friend who suddenly left her, and stays silent. For Whitneys part, I hope she had more happiness and joy in her short life than what this film shows.
2017-06-24
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