Back in 1969, John Lennon — then on his media-hounded honeymoon with Yoko Ono — penned "The Ballad of John and Yoko," with the chorus, "The way things are going, they're gonna crucify me." It seems a bit over-the-top, until you recall how his next decade unraveled: Ono was vilified as the "witch" who broke up The Beatles, the president of the United States actively tried to get Lennon deported or arrested, and finally a deranged fan who idolized him shot him for "selling out."

I thought of Lennon's song while watching "Amy," Asif Kapadia's wonderful, tragic documentary of troubled British singer Amy Winehouse, who died from alcohol poisoning in 2011 at that cursed rock-star age of 27. We all have an image in our heads of the wildly self-destructive Winehouse, dazed, perhaps bloodied, her makeup running, and we have to ask ourselves: Why do we have that image of mad-as-a-hatter Amy, and so little sympathy or understanding for how this incredibly gifted woman wound up in such a dark place?

"Amy" shows us the vibrant and all-too-vulnerable person behind the tabloid caricature, and will make you hate yourself for ever having laughed at Jay Leno or the many other comedians who used her as the butt of a cheap joke.