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Whitney: Can I Be Me

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Documentary on the life of Whitney Houston

This documentary traces the dramatic rise and fall of the music icon. Much like Michael Jackson a controlling parent, pressures of supporting an entire family and drug use is at the centre of it all but for the first time, we get to understand when and why Whitney’s fate was sealed early in her youth, with a few surprising revelations thrown in the mix. “Whitney: Can I Be Me” shows her drug fuelled past that started with her family, to her controlling relationship with mother Cissy

Houston. The documentary begins with clips of Whitney from her final world tour, which caused controversy due to reports about her erratic behavior behind the scenes. As we begin to remember the decline of the fallen star, we are then taken back to clips of a young Whitney Houston and explore the relationship with her family. We discover that the star was first introduced to drugs by her two brothers and grew up in a culture heavily dominated by religion yet contrived with an underbelly of drug use. Her squeaky clean appearance was perfectly cultivated by record producer Clive Davis and Arista Records. The documentary also seamlessly introduces the moment Bobby and Whitney first met and takes an even more tragic turn as we witness clips of a young Bobbi Kristina singing with her mother, while Whitney’s personal security guard recalls the frequent drug use by everyone in Whitney’s camp. One of the key people in Whitney Houston’s life also received a special focus in the documentary – Robyn Crawford a best friend of Whitney since the beginning of her career, who remained her best friend and confident. She was also subjected to lesbian rumors and a rival between herself and Bobby Brown. While the mysterious figure didn’t appear in the film, her presence was largely felt throughout, particularly in regards to discussions about Whitney’s sexuality. In the end, “Whitney: Can I Be Me” reveals a life that balanced tragedy with the warmth of Whitney’s personality, which shines bright in the close up, never-seen-before concert footage. If you were a fan, this is not to be missed.

Rated M 7 out of 10