Newsletter – 14 May 2021

New Season Online

For our May film we’ve chosen Whitney: Can I Be Me? (2017) from acclaimed and multi award-winning documentary film-maker Nick Broomfield. His first documentary Juvenile Liaison was released in 1976 but it was not until 1983 that his characteristic style of working with a minimal crew and appearing on-screen himself developed with the making of Chicken Ranch. Since then, his self-reflective filming methods (as much about the process of film-making itself as well as the ostensible subject) have influenced the work of many younger film-makers in the first decade of the 21st century.

As before, we’ve produced a Programme Note for the film which is attached to this Newsletter, with May 27th at 7.30pm being set for a Zoom meeting to exchange your impressions of it. If you wish to partake in this event, please access the link in the Programme Note for the meeting particulars. (You will of course need to have the Zoom ‘app’ installed on your computer.)

For those who wish to send in reactions individually, please Email with your score (A → E) and comments. These reactions and comments will be published on the ABCD Website ( and/or included in the Zoom discussion relevant to the film. You will also find the scores and comments for April’s film Foxtrot on the Website.

The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave Whitney: Can I Be Me? an 87% rating based on 67 external reviews. The site’s critical consensus reads “[The film] offers a sobering inside look at the tragic downfall of a brilliant performer, even as it leaves its audience yearning for deeper insight.”

The film is available to stream now on BBC iPlayer.

ABCD Online Prog Note Whitney May 21