English singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse lived a short, troubled life that ended due to alcohol poisoning at the young age of 27. This year she was the subject of the award-winning documentary Amy, and some think the cautionary nature of her story may serve as a deterrent to young people in similar situations.
According to an AP report, social workers in Thailand plan to stage a screening of Amy for approximately 100 at-risk and incarcerated youths in an attempt to show them the probably outcome that will result if they continue down the path they’re on. Think of it as a kind of modern Scared Straight, or one of those horrific movies about car accidents they used to show in driver’s ed., only with a better soundtrack.
Winehouse battled all kinds of demons, but chief among them were the drug and alcohol abuse that ultimately claimed her life. Two Thai health organizations, the Stop Drink Network and The Thai Health Promotion Foundation, have set up a screening of Amy for almost 100 boys from a juvenile detention center in Bangkok, as well as university students and youth group members, on Wednesday. The hope is that it will illustrate just what can happen when you make certain life choices and ideally steer them onto a less self-destructive path.
Kamron Chudecha of the Stop Drink Network said:
I think Amy's story is a real story that reflects real problems in the society, especially among teenagers. When Amy felt too much pressured, she acted out and started drinking, but she was gifted and she found that gift. It's not too late for the students to find their gifts and learn from her mistakes.
He says he sees lots of parallels between Amy Winehouse’s story and these kids, who have been labeled as addicts and criminals. While it is too late for her, Chudecha hopes that these detainees, many of whom are in for serious offences like murder and drugs, will take something away from her story. This isn’t just a one-off event, as films and books form an integral and regular part of the rehabilitation program.
Director Asif Kapadia’s Amy debuted at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year to rave reviews. Using archival footage and interviews with friends, family, and professional associates, the film documents her talent, as well as her attempts to cope with the pressure of fame. It’s been described as a powerful, sad look at a gifted artist, the relationship between art and fame, and the dark abyss of addiction.