Director Asif Kapadia (Senna) constructs Amy, a heartbreaking documentary about the self-destructive chanteuse Amy Winehouse, almost entirely from existing footage, largely allowing Winehouse to tell her own tragic life story. Amy follows Winehouse from her early days as an out-of-time jazz singer through her extended “troubled ingénue” period and finally to her breakthrough superstardom and long public meltdown. Through it all, Winehouse's lyrics serve as her voice, brutally sardonic autobiographical outlets for her demons and desires. Kapadia crafts a portrait of a fragile soul with a brash and outwardly confident personality, one that masked a self-loathing and vulnerability that was left easily exploited by her own inner circle. Although Amy isn't quite the daring and dispiriting triumph of the recent and similar Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, it's still an extremely powerful and emotionally resonant work, and a stirring testimony to the unique talent and unrealized potential of Amy Winehouse. D.B.