Cinema release: Documentary about rock singer Pete Doherty

Musical genius, poet, criminal, heroin addict: British musician Pete Doherty has played many roles in his life.

Cinema release: Documentary about rock singer Pete Doherty

Musical genius, poet, criminal, heroin addict: British musician Pete Doherty has played many roles in his life. Now a new documentary brings them all together. “Peter Doherty: Stranger In My Own Skin” follows the life of the now 44-year-old.

Shows his successes as founder of the band The Libertines (together with Carl Barât) and his ongoing battle against drug addiction, which has plagued him for around two decades. The result is a raw and intimate documentary that is partly shocking.

Euphoria and crashes

Doherty is shown several times consuming heroin and other drugs. At one point he describes heroin as a “magic key to another dimension.” The addiction would lead to the breakup of his band Libertines, prison stays, various withdrawal attempts and a lot of pain.

His current wife, Katia deVidas, shot the documentary over a period of ten years. It tells of his childhood, the beginnings of the Libertines, the meteoric success, the crashes and moments of reflection.

It's not about his infamous relationships, such as with supermodel Kate Moss, his three children or other details of his private life. The focus is clearly on Doherty as an artist and addict. In the voiceover, he reflects on his life, music and his addiction in often poetic words.

The Libertines were the band of the moment

Many scenes feature concert performances from his various bands, showcasing Doherty's musical talent. Mick Jones, famous musician from the band The Clash, produced the first two Libertines albums in 2002 and 2004. In the documentary he says: "Every now and then there's a band that has everything. That was that kind of band."

In many scenes there is pure chaos. Doherty is shown feeding himself and a few cats fish in a trash-filled house full of antique furniture. Time in his shared apartment in Paris - records and crosses on the wall - after he missed a flight to Thailand, where he was supposed to start another withdrawal.

He has been clean since 2019, says Doherty. Today he lives with deVidas in Normandy. He has a studio there and continues to work as a musician.

Peter Doherty: Stranger In My Own Skin, UK 2023, 92 minutes, by Katia deVidas

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