BANGKOK (AP) — Social workers in Thailand think the tragic story of the late singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse can be a lesson to wayward youth, so they are treating about 100 of them to a movie about her.
Winehouse, bedeviled by addictions to drug and drink before her death in 2011 at the age of 27, was the subject of a well-received documentary this year, "Amy."
The Thai Health Promotion Foundation and the Stop Drink Network arranged for nearly 100 boys from a juvenile detention center, together with dozens of university students and members of various youth groups, to watch the film on Wednesday, saying they hope it inspires them to overcome their own problems.
The film documents Winehouse's talent, how she tried to cope with the pressures of fame, and her death of accidental alcohol poisoning.
"I think Amy's story is a real story that reflects real problems in the society, especially among teenagers. When Amy felt too much pressured, she acted out and started drinking, but she was gifted and she found that gift. It's not too late for the students to find their gifts and learn from her mistakes," said Kamron Chudecha of the Stop Drink Network.
Even though Winehouse was a celebrity with fans around the world, Kamron said he sees a lot of similarities between her problems and those of juveniles in detention centers.
"These kids think the society labels them as drug addicts, alcohol addicts and criminals. When one hits rock bottom, it takes a lot of courage to fight the loneliness and criticism, like when Amy has to fight the media attention and people around her. Amy lost the battle, but these kids still have a chance," he said.
The juvenile detention center outside Bangkok houses youths sent there for serious crimes such as murder and drug-related crimes with sentences of five years or more. Books and movies are shown and discussed as part of effort to rehabilitate them.