Everything to take away from the Caroline Flack documentary -Her life and Death

The documentary aired on Channel 4 on Wednesday 17th March at 9 pm, shows an insight of all Caroline Flacks closest friends and family a year on from her death. You can see the raw emotion between everyone within the documentary. Her friends and family shed tears as they laugh and cry remembering “Carrie” in her full glory, from her journey from childhood to her rise in fame.

The filmmaker Charlie Russell purpose of the piece was to shine a light on Caroline’s life the good the bad and the ugly. The documentary uses the family and friends emotional description of her as the spine of the programme. Videos of Caroline happy and full of life is added to the interviews with her closest friends and family. This is effective as it makes such a a hard-hitting story more personal.

The documentary shines a light on the sad truth of having a prominent media spotlight and its huge effect on someone’s mental health.

Caroline became addicted to social media as her friends Dermot and Dee O’Leary say-  “she hated [it] but also couldn’t live without it” . The addiction was a sign of depression that no one could see.  It was normal for Caroline to be on her phone all the time and although people were worried, no one could stop her from reading all the negative comments.

In my opinion, shining a light on these issues creates a conversation for the audience as people tend to not want to share how they feeling regarding their mental health issues, and are left feeling like Caroline did. She was left to suffer in silence.

Both Caroline’s mum and Caroline’s former agent Polly Hill worried about how much time Caroline spent on her phone. The addiction to social media had a knock-on effect on her mental health and depression. Caroline’s addiction to social media is very common, in my opinion we are seeing a rise in the younger generation as they are attached to their phones.

Social media addiction should be shared more. I think the documentary touched on the subject but people need to be informed more about this issue, as it is a rising issue for not only children but also adults like Carolin. In cases like Caroline’s it can contribute to death.

She was suffering in silence while drowning in a pool full of hate comments on Twitter. Video footage shows her laughing even at the worst time in her life, she would still proceed to convince everyone she was ok. Work distracted Caroline from all the negative press as long as she was busy, everyone thought she was ok, this is the message she would give out to people instead of asking for help.

Singer and friend Olly Murs describes how their friendship formed when both presenters got the call from Simon Cowell about becoming main presenters on the X Factor in 2015. It was meant to be the highlight of their career but it was the opposite, after one season the pair were let go. This had a massive effect on Caroline’s self-esteem. Olly talks about how the hate was “constant for ten weeks” and that “Caroline got it so much more than me.”

The documentary focuses on Caroline life but heavily talks about her relationships, her whirlwind  breakups, depression, pills, and hospital attendances. Its described that Caroline couldn’t handle the pain of her heartbreak, her way of controlling the emotions was with pills and alcoholism.

Caroline was always ashamed of what people thought of her, so when the information went out about her arrest for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend in December 2019, “everything went from bad to worse” her former agent Louise McDonald describes.

Flacks current boyfriend at the time former professional tennis player and model -Lewis Burton made a phone call to 999 claiming she “tried to kill me “and within 24 hours the story was published. The documentary highlights the polices arrival, they were both covered in blood – the blood was described to have come from the head wound and was dealt with at the scene.

Caroline’s agent Louisa McDonald claims that the published photo by The Sun newspaper of “flack’s bedroom bloodbath” was actually Caroline’s blood from her harming herself. Caroline had a history of harming her self and had to receive plastic surgery to repair damage to her arm before.Caroline didn’t want anyone knowing about the surgery or her history of self-harming, so nothing was published about the blood being hers until now.

She felt ashamed that people had labelled her as an abuser and friend Jamie Bradley said “she just couldn’t see a way out of all the bad press she was getting” While she was at her lowest point in life she was getting attacks coming in from all sides, slowly losing grip on her career . Overnight 20 years of hard work had gone, and she lost her prominent role on reality show ‘Love Island’.

Caroline posted a tearful video online. “it was a fight,” she says as she cries into the camera “I’ve never hurt anybody, the only person I’ve ever hurt was myself” this brings a lot of emotion to the documentary , you see the struggle and pain she was in months before her death. This was hard to watch, it really showed you an insight into her true feelings as she was going through some of the hardest times in her life.

Flack suffered from mental health issues, she was either on a high or in a desperate low. The documentary dives deep into her background with her twin sister Jody Flack and their mother Christine. Using them throughout the piece created a strong connection with the audience. The subject of falling victim to suicide, personalises the whole documentary, you are following her story.

Flack was actually involved in the process of creating the documentary before she passed away. In the weeks between her arrest in 2019 and death, she teamed up with Channel 4 to make the documentary with the idea of setting the record straight following all her negative press and recent headlines.

This was soon changed as the family used this opportunity to create a eulogy to Caroline with never-before-seen footage of the late star’s childhood home videos and interviews.

Family and friends defend Flack’s name throughout the documentary. This is what I expected to see throughout the documentary, it’s clear to see they are still coming to term with the loss of Caroline. A part of the documentary that stuck with me is when her sister is asked what she’d say to her- she can’t reply as she is still coming to terms with the loss of twin sister.

Overall the hour-long piece really hits hard on the tough subject of suicide and the effect long-lasting effect it has on the family and friends. I would recommend this documentary to anyone who wants to learn more on the subject and see a little more into the life of Caroline Flack.