The Last Days of Left Eye Film Review
The Last Days of Left Eye Documentary Film Review
The Last Days of Left Eye Documentary Film Review
The Last Days of Left Eye film is a film that I have seen twice, first a few years ago and again, just recently. My recent viewing of this film prompted me to write this film review.
Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was a shining star in the entertainment industry, her light extinguished prematurely. We all feel like someone has died prematurely when he or she dies so young. She died at the young age of 30 years old in the year 2002. She had already acquired much fame as a member of the all female musical group TLC that also included members T-boz and Chili.
In the latter years of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes’ life, she had developed a fascination with the country of Honduras and she visited Honduras frequently. Lisa also cared a lot about children and their access to educational opportunities and development. She had purchased large amounts of land in Honduras and wanted to develop non-profit education enrichment centers on the purchased land for children to learn and grow.
Lisa’s final trip to Honduras was one that she considered to be a spiritual retreat of sorts. She went there with a group of people including among others her assistant, her brother and her sister as well as the members of another all female musical performing group that was up and coming and that she was managing. The Last Days of Left Eye film documentary was released for public viewing in the year 2007 and details the days of that last trip to Honduras including the time in the airport and boarding the plane to go there. The group then joked about the time that they would spend together “in the bush”, with nature. Lisa was interested in natural healing and body cleansing methods and encouraged the other individuals that accompanied her on the trip to drink juice cleanses that apparently tasted truly awful as everyone had difficulty keeping the drinks down.
As the camera frequently panned to Lisa, the main person of the documentary film, she would speak a lot about her past, about her life experiences and discussed that the film was an attempt to allow others to get to know her better. The various sets of information that Lisa revealed about herself were fascinating but some were also haunting as she spoke about her own mortality too and ended up dying during that very trip to Honduras.
Watching this film might give you chills. Lisa revealed many things. She explained that the media speculation and perception of what she was really like was far from the truth. She had once made headlines in American news stories over her tumultuous relationship with an ex-boyfriend. She was so shaken when she discovered his infidelity that she chose to do an impulsive revenge act of burning his shoes in the bathtub of his home. The results of this act was an escalation to a large fire from which she had to escape. She said that she stood there, “mesmerized” by the flames that were quickly spreading beyond the bathtub and her sister was there and pulled her out. The entire house, a large mansion ended up going up in flames. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes later faced trouble with the law because of this. She was accused of arson. Lisa spent time in court ordered rehabilitation and probation because of what had occurred. She explained that there were people with all sorts of different problems at this detox facility. Alcohol was often the thing that caused people to have to seek help.
Lisa and this ex-boyfriend reconciled even after this fire and were together on and off for years, she explained. She revealed what may have been little known or unknown to anyone who knew her and that was that the tumultuous relationship messed with her head so much that she even did cutting of her skin at one point. She reveals her scars from this cutting during The Last Days of Left Eye documentary filming. She said that she was not suicidal but she did hurt herself and she knew that her actions with cutting were going to cause her pain and cause her to bleed.
By the time of the filming of this documentary, Lisa had been in a subsequent relationship with another man who she at least on one occasion took with her on one of her trips to Honduras. That trip was like escapism apparently because she did not tell anyone that she was going. Since she was a public figure and could not be found, there was a media firestorm and she was reported as “missing”. While she found all of that kind of comical, there were many people who had been genuinely worried about her, including her fans and this caused her to be remorseful.
Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes just discussed so many different things when the camera was on her during the documentary filming. The film watchers were really given a lot of insight into her life experiences. She even spoke about her childhood. She was always musically inclined and spirited with a lot of showmanship. She was not shy. She went to church with her family when she was young. Her father was in the military and instilled a lot of discipline for the children. She talked about how funny his level of seriousness was when something had fallen on the floor of the home and he wanted one of the kids to pick it up. Apparently, he very much acted like a drill sergeant when he was in the home.
Lisa additionally spoke about how, sadly years later, after serving overseas in military combat and surviving it, her father died tragically as a victim of violent crime right here in the USA.
Lisa spoke about her relationship with the TLC bandmates and their comradery. She spoke about the financial difficulties that they ran into despite their popularity as a musical group. Things did get so bad at a point that bankruptcy occurred. She spoke very intelligently as she explained the rundown of just how much money was left for her to divide with bandmates T-Boz and Chili after music production costs and what was taken by the higher ups, the music executives. Paying her bills with her share of the money was not easy for her at all.
Lisa spoke about her contributions and her creative process. She showed the notebook that she often wrote in, both for journaling and writing music. She had aspirations to branch out with a successful solo career in music and she showed some of the art work that she had done herself for her album. She was very hurt when she learned that her solo album material was not going to be picked up by the music executives that she presented it to for production and financial backing.
Often, when Lisa felt stress and needed to get away, Honduras was where she went.
On Lisa’s final trip to Honduras, she said many haunting things. It is clear that she was a spiritual person coming to terms with her own mortality and seeking answers about God and the world. She made references to her beliefs that she was exploring and she dabbled in learning about numerology, for example. She seemed to be starting to feel very haunted and like she was being followed by some unseen deathly spirit or entity. One day during her final Honduras trip, she was on an outing. She was a passenger, not the driver in a car that accidentally hit a little boy. Documentary film footage is shown of Lisa waiting in the hospital waiting room right across from the child’s mother to find out about the condition of the child. Tragically, the little boy died from his injuries. Lisa helped the family to pay for expenses. While watching this film, you will get that sad and chilling feeling again as you watch Lisa selecting a casket for the child’s funeral.
It is incredible poignant and notable that during the film, Lisa talks about how she felt like something was after her and it got the little boy accidentally instead. Her saying this just makes you think, “What?!!” Lisa was uneasy and while you watch this film, you would find it very troubling that she spoke in such as predictive way like she was having premonitions and foreshadowing about her very own death.
Keep in mind though, that there were other instances during the film where Lisa was talking about her plans for her future. She created one piece of artwork that was like a vision board of sorts and she discussed what the pictures represented. She had hopes for more success and money, a husband and a baby one day in her future, all very reasonable things for a young woman of thirty years old to dream for.
A lasting legacy
So, she did not know anything about her ultimate fate for absolute sure. As with any of us, only God knows.
Even someone who has read many autobiographical and biographical books and seen many documentary films about the lives of famous people may have found this particular documentary film to be very unique and particularly troubling.
Later on during that same trip which would be Lisa’s final trip to Honduras, Lisa died in Honduras in a horrific car crash where she was the driver of the vehicle.
Lisa was working on her film documentary of her life, herself, but upon her death the film footage was used in creating a tribute film to her and even the title of the film, The Last Days of Left Eye is a very haunting one.
A bit of footage was shown of Lisa’s funeral, where thousands of people attended with many gathering outside as they could not fit into the building. While Lisa was the only fatality from the vehicle, some of the passengers in her vehicle had been injured as well and sat in wheelchairs to attend Lisa Lopes’ funeral. Tears will come to your eyes as you see this.
Lisa Lopes has a lasting legacy. Your heart will be filled with much sensitivity and respect for the dead as you watch this documentary film about her as well other documentary films about the lives and deaths of other famous figures. The style of filming that chronicles the life of the person is very contemplative indeed.
Last Days of Left Eye - deleted scene
Last Days of Left Eye - deleted scenes
© 2018 Nyesha Pagnou MPH