Sandy Kenyon reviews 'Whitney: Can I Be Me'

NEW YORK (WABC) -- More than five years have passed since Whitney Houston's amazing voice was silenced, and a new documentary seeks to put her life in perspective.

If you were moved by her music and still mourn her loss, then you will gain deep satisfaction from watching "Whitney: Can I Be Me." The film puts her music in perspective, while offering new insight into how she died at the age of 48.

The film begins with the end of her life, but it quickly rewinds to the riots of 1967 in Newark that convinced her family to move to East Orange when she was a child. At every turn, the documentary questions our preconceived notions about her.

Honest recollections and home movies lift a veil on the private person behind the glamorous superstar: a woman so filled with self doubt that she questioned her luminous beauty and worried she was not worthy of her God-given talent.

The film also provides new insight into her marriage to Bobby Brown, a union impossible to comprehend without the information presented.

The meaning of the title becomes apparent as fame proves a prison, as Houston kept asking, "Can I be me?" and never got a satisfactory answer.

The world watched in horror as Houston withered away, first her body and then her voice, and the result is a fully realized portrait of a transcendant talent and a reminder of why we all came to care so much about her.
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