Last Days of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes
VH1 premiered their much-anticipated documentary about the last days of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes this weekend. The TLC singer died in a car crash in 2002 while filming her own documentary about her life in Honduras. Despite TLC's demise after Lopes' death, the Atlanta threesome still remains one of the most successful female groups in music history known for their chart-topping hits with a socially conscientious message.
VH1 put together one of their crafty-titled "rockumentaries" that chronicles Lopes' successful musical career and turbulent personal life leading up to her tragic death. The program's producers let Lopes tell her own story by switching between classic TLC moments, raw footage from Lopes' own unfinished Honduras documentary and The Real World type confessionals that were also part of Lopes' original film.
I always thought of Lisa Lopes as an uptight brat (sorry fans), but in this new documentary she turns out to be a kind, pensive and very spiritual person who is wise beyond her years. I understand now how she still inspires many who adored her throughout her career.
The documentary reveals the anxiety that plagued Lopes throughout her life and often led to her much-publicized erratic behavior such as setting her boyfriend's home on fire in 1994 and not showing up for important TLC press engagements in 2001.
Her inner turmoil seemed to intensify in the weeks and days leading up to her death. Lopes is convinced that bad spirits are haunting her and want to take her life. In the candid confessional footage, she talks about the nightmares she has about dying at a young age.
There are other eerie moments wrapped in mystery. Days before her death, the artist's premonition about her death is strengthened when her car accidentally hits a young boy who dies soon after the accident. Lopes is convinced that "the spirits" had it wrong and were actually out to take her life. The fact that the boy's last name was Lopes only adds fuel to her belief.
Throughout the Honduras footage, Lopez continues to talk about the topic of death. She doesn't like to call it death and rather talks about "transformation." As she describes on her 2002 song "A Star Is Born," Lopes subscribes to the belief that with every passing on earth a new star is born.
The most disturbing moment comes when the documentary shows footage of the actual last seconds of Lopes' life. One member of her entourage is sitting in the front passenger seat while filming Lopes seconds before the car crash. The film shows Lopes losing control of the steering wheel that makes the SUV slid off the road. Screaming follows. Then the film goes to black.
I'm surprised this footage has not come out earlier, but now that it has, VH1 has done an excellent job of putting it into the right context without sensationalizing it.
Lisa Lopes was killed in a car accident on April 25, 2002.
Remember that headline?
She was on a spiritual retreat in Honduras in an attempt to distance herself from her problems at home, the microphones and camera flashes of the media, and to face the struggles within herself. With a video camera in her knapsack and a few of her closest friends, she hopped on a plane and documented what would ultimately be the final days of her life.
In the film Lisa discusses her internal unhappiness, problems with alcohol and the comfort she found in rehab. For the gossip minded, she also discusses her relationship with Andre Rison and the events that led her to set fire to his Atlanta mansion.
When Lisa and crew arrive in Honduras, Lisa introduces her friends to the teachings of Dr. Sebi. Dr. Sebi is a natural healer and the reason Lisa was in Honduras, Dr. Sebi put her on to Honduras five years earlier.
Lisa and her friends start their spiritual cleanse with a physical one, beginning a vegetarian diet and drinking herbs.
As the days go on, Lisa sees daily improvements but still feels the dark side is lurking within her. She starts to talk about having visions of a spirit chasing her, and a sense of restlessness and fear set in. She’s spooked.
There is this belief among spiritual teachers that what you think about becomes your reality. Whether positive or negative, it doesn’t make a difference. Put it in your head and it’s bound to show up at some point in your life.
That proved true in Lisa’s case.
That fateful day, she was driving from the village in which they were staying, lost control of the car and was the only person of the seven passengers that did not survive.
for days before the wreck, she talks repeatedly on feeling like a spirit is chasing her, preparing to take her away. A couple days after that started, a little boy darted in front of the car she was riding in. The car struck and killed the boy. After paying for the medical expenses and funeral costs (they actually show her at the mortuary picking out the casket), she says she feels that spirit accidentally killed the boy instead of her.
You can watch the doco on youtube:
Other parts are linked on same page.