In his documentary Whitney, director Kevin MacDonald "wanted people to see the human side of Whitney Houston and to understand her." He tells Billboard, "I was trying to understand her because she always seemed like such an enigma."
The film, which opens in theaters tomorrow (Friday), was made with the cooperation of the singer's family -- but MacDonald retained editorial control.
MacDonald's research led him to "understand a little more. I feel like understanding leads to compassion. There was a shortage of compassion around Whitney. There’s a narrative of her self-destruction... that was hard to sympathize with, but now I feel like I’m able to love her again and I hope the audience does as well."
While the movie -- which screened earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival -- is said to be quite revealing, one key figure in Whitney's life is absent: her rumored lover, Robyn Crawford. MacDonald corresponded with her for "several months" before "she declined [to participate] for her own reasons I can’t speculate about. "