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Whitney: Can I Be Me 15 rating

Documentary titan Nick Broomfield turns his gaze to the troubled pop star whose sensational voice masked an inner identity crisis.

Documentary 2017 101 mins

Director: Nick Broomfield



Documentary titan Nick Broomfield turns his gaze to the sensational pop star with the most soaring of voices, whose extraordinary talent and boundless energies masked an inner identity crisis. Leaving behind his boom-mic-wielding persona, Broomfield stays behind the camera for this fascinating insight into the pioneering singer, whose desperate attempts to assert some personal control over a rollercoaster career eventually wore her down.

Broomfield intersperses interviews and home-movies with some incredible concert footage from Houston's 1999 tour, filmed for an uncompleted documentary by Rudi Dolezal. Together it paints the picture of a tortured artist, deeply conflicted over her attempts to appeal to both black and white audiences, while also harbouring deep secrets about her sexuality and the nature of her relationship to husband Bobby Brown. The third of Broomfield's music star documentaries (after Biggie & Tupac, Kurt & Courtney) is his most successful to date, simply because it doesn't strive too far to justify conspiracy theories; Houston's inner turmoil is plain to see. With a career in documentary filmmaking approaching its fiftieth year, Broomfied reaffirms his status as a master of the field.