I can’t call the feature documentary “Whitney” my favorite film of 2018 because I didn’t actually enjoy it. What I can say is that British filmmaker Kevin Maconald’s staggeringly comprehensive look at the life of the Black pop superstar Whitney “Nippy” Houston was the most compelling movie I saw.
To be specific, “Whitney” ripped out whatever was left of my heart, put those bits into a Ziploc bag and tossed it into a locker full of our collective pain. I call the pain collective because even if you didn’t care about Whitney Houston, this film is as much about racism, classism, homophobia, addiction, sexual abuse, toxic masculinity and familial betrayal as it is about this beautiful ’80s lady with a preternatural voice.
“Whitney” (which is not to be confused with Showtime’s 2017 doc “Whitney. ‘Can I Be Me’) contains all of the familiar broad strokes of Houston’s life. But then, using news and performance footage, childhood photos, and a wide range of interviews with her mom, brothers, aunties, employees, agents and others, this film picks and picks and picks until the thesis coalesces into a real story of a real person.
Known by her loved ones as “Nippy,” Houston is born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1963. Her mom is Cissy, a gospel singer best known for backing up Houston’s auntie Aretha Franklin. Her dad, John, works in planning and zoning for the city’s first Black mayor. Crossover superstar Dionne Warwick is her cousin. One of her half-brothers, Gary Garland, plays for the Denver Nuggets.
more recommended stories
What Canada and South Africa can teach the U.S. about slavery reparations | The Conversation
America’s failure to understand, acknowledge and.
Sculptor Augusta Savage Said Her Legacy Was The Work Of Her Students | NPR
Sculptor Augusta Savage once said: “I.
Baton Rouge activist was killed by a tenant behind on his rent, police say | The Washington Post
A man has been charged with.
Nina Simone’s Childhood Home Is Under Threat. This Campaign Aims to Save It | Smithsonian.com
Nina Simone was born in a.
Kem and Maze deliver fond and fitting farewell concert for Tom Joyner | The St. Louis American
Urban radio pioneer and syndicated morning.
Beloved Baton Rouge Activist Sadie Roberts-Joseph Suffocated To Death And Was Found In A Car’s Trunk | Buzzfeed News
Sadie Roberts-Joseph, a beloved community activist.
Why reparations to African-Americans are necessary – and how to start now | The Conversation
Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, Garden & GunFive.
The Truth Behind ’40 Acres and a Mule’ | PBS
We’ve all heard the story of.
Their Family Bought Land One Generation After Slavery. The Reels Brothers Spent Eight Years in Jail for Refusing to Leave It. | ProPublica
TheN THE SPRING OF 2011, the.
27 More Graves May Have Been Found at a Notorious Florida Boys School | The New York Times
More than two dozen additional unmarked.