Asif Kapadia, the director of the imminently released documentary about Amy Winehouse, has defended himself against criticisms made by the late singer’s father Mitch. Winehouse passed away in July 2011 at the age of 27, and Kapadia’s new movie Amy focusses on her early years and her rise to fame as well as the tragic end to her life.

Last month, Mitch Winehouse revealed that he had ordered the film to be re-edited upon seeing its original cut, claiming that the documentary had an "agenda" and had ended up portraying him and the rest of his family in “the worst possible light”.

Asif KapadiaDirector Asif Kapadia has been criticised by Amy Winehouse's father Mitch

Despite this, Mitch is apparently not sufficiently satisfied with the changes. However, the 43 year old former BAFTA-winning film-maker (for Senna, 2010) has responded to these criticisms in a new interview with The Independent.

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“I think this is a film about her and about what went on around her and the people around her. We knew that there would be people who would not like certain things,” Kapadia admitted. “How can you go into something with an agenda, if when I started, I didn’t know any of the story, or the people? I’m not in the music industry. It was just a question of talking to the people and seeing what the story was. It took a while for people to talk.”

Kapadia intimated that what drew him to Winehouse as a subject for a documentary was pure interest, rather than fandom. “I don’t make films where I'm a massive fan,” he said when he spoke about what generally motivates him, “but at the same time it intrigued me, there are a lot of questions that I wanted to learn the answers to, and I hope those questions would be intriguing to a lot of the audience.”

Despite the obvious note of tragedy inherent in the film, Kapadia reckons that Amy’s positive character will shine through and balance the movie out. “I was surprised by how funny she was. She was very clever. If you just saw the last few years of her life, you didn’t know. I wasn’t aware of how amazing her lyrics were. Once you read the lyrics, you understand that all the answers are there. There is nothing in the film that isn’t already in the lyrics.”

Amy is released on July 3rd, and will be getting a special screening at next weekend’s Glastonbury Festival.

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