“Damning” New Movie About Whitney

The title of Nick Broomfield’s new documentary about Whitney Houston echoes a question she often asked herself: “Can I be me?” Apparently, she often could not. According to Broomfield’s damning film, Houston had to repress her true self throughout much of her life, due to a perfect storm of factors, which included her controlling mother, Cissy Houston; her pushy record company, Arista; her co-dependent husband, Bobby Brown; her conflicted sexuality; and the mountain of drugs she used to blot all of that out. “Whitney: Can I Be Me?” – which has its premiere at the Tribeca film festival this week – pivots

on a wealth of frank interviews with backup singers, hairdressers, bodyguards and marketing people, all of whom had intimate knowledge of the star’s off-stage life.

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