Nina Simone was one of music's most incendiary, brilliant and necessary artists. Now she's finally getting a contemporary documentary film that will examine the full scope of her talents, influence and turmoil.
"What Happened, Miss Simone?" is a Netflix-produced documentary directed by the Oscar-nominated Liz Garbus. Slated to premiere on June 26, the film, like the new Kurt Cobain documentary "Montage of Heck," taps reels of previously unreleased interviews of Simone detailing her life and music. Simone died in 2003.
The trailer, posted by Entertainment Weekly, has an immediate candor about her volatility -- Simone battled alcoholism and bipolar disorder throughout her life -- and the film addresses how American racism was both a defining, enraging struggle for her, and yet a source of immense potency in her work.
"People think that when she went out onstage, she became Nina Simone," her daughter Lisa says in the trailer. "My mother was Nina Simone 24/7, and that's where it became a problem."
The concert footage is absolutely riveting, and to judge by the first pieces of footage, it captures one of America's most important and brilliant talents at the height of her powers and the depths of her pain.
Given the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement and the seemingly endless spate of police killings in the U.S., her vision remains as crucial as ever.
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