WHITNEY (2018)

WHITNEY (2018) 17


“Whitney” should’ve been better. The documentary helmed by Kevin Macdonald seemed like it was meant for more. If you’re a casual viewer, the film will seem like a heartfelt look at the singer. When watching documentaries, I’m becoming super concerned over the push to edit truth to make something that appeals. The truth should never be appealing. If you manipulate truth, then you’re not making a documentary…you’re producing an approved narrative.

Most of what is presented can be pulled from a Wikipedia search. But, the film takes its time to revel in Houston’s tragedies. Well, there’s a reason for that. The singer’s later life was marked by parody and attempts to make light of her substance abuse. It’s much easier to be a victim than be in charge of your demise. So, the film goes out of its way to frame her later years as the end result of a privileged life led astray.

LGBTQ groups are still angry over the exclusion of Whitney’s lesbian confidante, as she was a big part of Whitney’s early days. From there, you can start to see how sanitized this portrayal has become now. It’s a highlight reel where every misstep has at least 10 explanations for why it happened. It’s been awhile since I’ve been this let down by a documentary. So…yeah. I’m not going to recommend it.


  • 2 hrs
  • R
  • Roadside Attractions


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