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Purchase Whitney: Can I Be Me (2017) Movie Online and Download - Rudi Dolezal, Nick Broomfield 🎥
Music, Documentary
IMDB rating:
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.
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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.
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.
Sad Story Straight Forward
This documentary is not so much an homage to an amazing lady with a god given voice, but a honest look behind the limelight scenes: a woman trying her best to keep it all together. Although we all know how the story ends, this picture takes us back to the start. We see her star rising: albums, shows, world tours, movies, awards. Stock material mixed with many personal videos show us how success brings fortune and fame but also pressure, uncertainty and anxiety. Close friends and family share their personal thoughts about these high and low periods.
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.
"She died of a broken heart."
"Whitney: Can I Be Me", a documentary on the rise and fall of singer-actress Whitney Houston, doesn't have a question-mark in its title because the question is rhetorical--a mantra of Houston's which her crew put on a tape-loop: "C-C-C-Can I Be Me". It's an emblem of the woman who wanted to reclaim herself from the glossy clutches of stardom, goosed by her entourage as an in-joke, something to laugh about as the money from her pop records rolled in. Growing up in strife-ridden Newark, NJ, Whitney was exposed to drugs early on, even with a deeply-religious gospel singer, Cissy Houston, as her mom. With previously-unseen concert and backstage footage from her tour of Germany in 1999 anchoring the film, directors Nick Broomfield and Rudi Dolezal deliver an insider's glimpse into the hectic world of a music star, one who is holding on to her sanity, her status in the industry and her role as a wife and mother with sweaty palms. With best friend and personal assistant Robyn Crawford at odds with Whitney's husband of nine years, Bobby Brown, Houston conveniently ignores the words of warning from a soon-to-be-fired bodyguard that her health is jeopardy. The woman ran herself into the ground, broken further still by her father suing her for a million dollars and a divorce from Brown in 2007. "I began to wait for the call that I eventually got," a loved one states. It was inevitable she would succumb to her addictions and heartbreak, and when Houston died February 2012 at the Beverly Hilton, a pre-awards Grammy bash going on in the same hotel went on without her (not mentioned here). This unexceptional document is a polite way to say goodbye to the singer, with some interesting thoughts from her staff but with no anecdotes or gossip or anything too personal. "I miss her laugh," Crawford writes. But there isn't much laughter showcased here. ** from ****
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!
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.
So Cissy Houston I Blame You
There is not much new that is revealed in this documentary. What is new is the fact its brought to our attention that Cissy Houston was a terrible mother!

Cissy, you & Whitney would perform at Gay Bars (When Whitney Was Young) and yet you despised gay people because "Against God". So is divorce yet you had one. Drx before marriage BINGO that's against God as well. What troll you are Miss Cissy. Gay dollars were fine but we "Are going against God". Your foolish belief cost you not only your daughter but your grand daughter. It also seems no matter who "Whitney Loved" you were always against it. I think you were mad every time Whitney sold another record.

Long before Whitney Married Bobby she was rumored to have a girlfriend and her new name is front and center in this documentary. Sad that Whitney felt forced to be straight because of her jealous mother made her life hell.

I said years ago "Stop Blaming Bobby". Whitney's problems started long before he came along.

Its just too to know what happened not only to Whitney but her daughter as well!
Fairly impressive, but you can't help but feel it's missed the moment
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

When world famous recording superstar Whitney Houston died from a drug overdose in February 2012, it sent the showbiz world into chaos and had everyone talking. Director Nick Broomfield examines her life leading up to her death, from her upbringing in the slums of the ghetto, where she first began experimenting with drugs, but also discovered her amazing, soulful voice, that would lead to her conquering the world with her singing, where she harmonised it singing in the choir in the local evangelical church. When she first hit the big time, she first experimented with her sexuality with assistant Robyn Crawford, before settling down with r n' b singer Bobby Brown, which sadly lead to a downward spiral of drink and drugs that ruined it all.

If there are many things Broomfield's documentary misses out on, one salient point it does raise is how unhappy Whitney apparently was with the manufactured, fuzzy commercial pop she was made to sing by her record company, designed to appeal to the mainstream white suburban America that was apparently more likely to buy the records, rather than stuff that was more grounded in her roots, with no one wanting her to become 'the female James Brown.' While these were the tunes that made her famous, it's disconcerting to know she felt so little of it behind the scenes. As if out of some weird respect for this, Broomfield brushes over most of her early back catalogue, and musically, focuses on her 1992 cover of Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You, from the hit motion picture The Bodyguard.

Another touchy subject that has never received much attention before is her rumoured bisexuality, which is sparingly explored here in the early stages, but what's more revealing is the disdain for such things that exists among, or did exist among, the black community in America at the time, and if Whitney wasn't spurned by her fans or wider society, she would have been by those closer to her. Running under the two hour mark, it's hard not to surmise that Broomfield may have had a lot of missed opportunities, and stuff he neglects to explore or delve into that could have added more substance to the proceedings, and given it a more interesting edge.

It all feels very similar to a lot of what has already been documented about Whitney's personal/private life in TV documentaries and such, and at this late stage it's hard not to feel like you're seeing stuff you've already seen. But it's still a fairly well made and focused documentary of a cultural icon. ***
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.
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