British-Indian filmmaker Asif Kapadia’s documentary on the late singer Amy Winehouse, which became a blockbuster in the UK but upset her family, was nominated Thursday for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.
“Amy” focuses heavily on the substance abuse of the soul singer who died in 2011 at age 27 after a spectacular but brief career.
The film became the second-highest grossing documentary at the British box office but her father attacked the film, saying it dwelled on the negative and not on Winehouse’s fun-loving side.
At the Oscars, “Amy” will be up against a documentary about an artist often cited as a model for Winehouse — Nina Simone.
“What Happened, Miss Simone?” features archival footage of the legendary singer who became active in the US civil rights movement.
Other nominees include “The Look of Silence” by Joshua Oppenheimer, his latest documentary to probe Indonesia’s mass killings of suspected leftists and ethnic Chinese in 1965-66.
The film is a follow-up to Oppenheimer’s 2012 “The Act of Killing,” which was also nominated for an Oscar and is credited with renewing calls for accountability over a dark chapter in Indonesia’s history which had long been officially ignored.
The other nominees this year are “Cartel Land,” which focuses on the Mexican drug war and vigilantism on the US side of the border, and “Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom,” about the protests that ousted president Viktor Yanukovych and intensified a showdown with Russia.
Notably absent from the nominees was “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,” an HBO documentary on alleged abuse by the Church of Scientology and its interactions with Hollywood celebrities.
The film, which outraged the church, won the Emmy for best documentary and was on the shortlist for an Oscar nomination.
The Oscars ceremony is set for February 28 in Hollywood.