I'm a freelance writer living in Perth, Western Australia.
Published December 17th 2012
The final 26 days of Lisa Lopes' Life
The Last Days Of Left Eye
The Last Days of Left Eye is a somewhat heart breaking documentary, released by VH1 in 2007, which documents the final 26 days of the life of the beautiful and talented Lisa Nicole Lopes (aka Left Eye), who was famous for her musical abilities in the band TLC.
Lisa wanted to make the documentary, after a stint of run ins with the law and getting involved with some "wrong" people, who caused her to commit those crimes.
The documentary is set around what was going to be a 30 day trip to her favourite spiritual retreat in Honduras, where she brought her brother, sister, a group of her friends and her film crew to cleanse their bodies and their souls.
Lisa wanted to get to know who she was and show her true self to her fans through the documentary, but her life was tragically cut short on the 26th day (April 25th 2002) and her last moments of life were caught on camera and feature in the film.
During the course of the documentary, Lisa opens up to the camera about everything in her life, including her childhood, with musicians in her father's family and artists in her mothers, to how she was always getting involved in anything and everything creative that came her way, to how her father abused her mother before their divorce. Lisa also tells of how her father was eventually shot dead 5 years before the filming, after getting into a heated argument with a close friend.
The film touches on the rise of Lisa's music career and her found fame with TLC, to the bands bankruptcy and their eventual come back, including the infamous time that Left Eye was reported missing, when she went on a secret "Tarzan and Jane" trip with her partner at the time.
Lisa also tells her side of the story of when she was sentenced to rehab, after burning down the house of her former controlling and abusive ex partner, NFL player Andre Rison, which sheds some light on what really happened on that terrible day.
Things eventually get creepier and creepier as the days go by. Lisa has a dream about "the end" and begins to tell the camera and her friends how she has always had premonitions and dreams, which actually come true, and she felt that a spirit was coming for her and those feelings were amplified whenever she got into a car.
Two days before her death, the car that Lisa was a passenger in, struck a young boy who was running across the road and not long after being admitted into hospital, the boy died. Soon after, Lisa is filmed, holding the boys shoes and saying that she felt like the spirit made a mistake, as the boy has the same last name as her.
Then the footage of her last day of life is shown, Lisa is seen driving down the road, with her sister and some friends in the back seat, they all begin to scream and Lisa veers off the road, to her death. The footage ends there but there was in fact more footage after, which was edited out and may never be seen by the general public, due to a request from her family. There is also some footage used from her funeral, which was held at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia on the 2nd of May, 2002, which was attended by thousands of people.
The lyrics to her portion of TLC's hit song "Waterfalls" - "Dreams are hopeless aspirations, in hopes of coming true, believe in yourself, the rest is up to me and you" were engraved upon her casket and Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes was finally put to rest at Hillandale Memorial Gardens, located in Lithonia, Georgia.
Lisa's death is not fully explained in the documentary, but from reports which I read, upon seeing this extremely insightful and fascinating documentary, told of how Lisa lost control of the Mitsubishi Montero sport car, which she was driving and was killed after the vehicle rolled several times after hitting two trees, throwing her and three others out of the windows. Lisa was the only one to die in the crash, after sustaining fatal neck injuries and severe head trauma. Her mother, Wanda, later sued Mitsubishi Motors, as that particular car model was prone to rolling over.
As a fan of TLC, who grew up with "Left Eye", in particular as one of my biggest role models, I found this documentary to be a beautiful tribute to the life of Lisa, who was smart, kind, loving and exceedingly talented at everything she put her mind to and although it is very hard to watch in some places, it just confirms that the world has lost an extremely beautiful and valuable being, who can never be replaced.