In his documentary Whitney, director Kevin MacDonald “wanted people to see the human side of [Houston] and to understand her.” He tells Billboard, “I was trying to understand her because she always seemed like such an enigma.”
The film, which opens in theaters tomorrow (Friday), was made with the cooperation of the singer’s family — but MacDonald retained editorial control.
MacDonald’s research led him to “understand a little more. I feel like understanding leads to compassion. There was a shortage of compassion around Whitney. There’s a narrative of her self-destruction… that was hard to sympathize with, but now I feel like I’m able to love her again and I hope the audience does as well.”
While the movie — which screened earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival — is said to be quite revealing, one key figure in Whitney’s life is absent: her rumored lover, Robyn Crawford. MacDonald corresponded with her for “several months” before “she declined [to participate] for her own reasons I can’t speculate about. ”
- Hard to tell a tragic story — especially when you know Whitney will end badly.
- It should be interesting to see how this narrative differs from the unauthorized documentary that aired last year on Showtime.
- More than 70 friends and family members appear, including recording legend Clive Davis.
- The film alleges that Whitney’s late cousin Dee Dee Warwick molested her.
- MacDonald claims Houston “didn’t care about money… but everyone around her, they cared about the money, they wanted it.”