“It is an artist's duty to reflect the times.”
June 23, 2015 9:16 AM   Subscribe

What Happened, Miss Simone? [YouTube] [Trailer] Helmed by Oscar-nominated director Liz Garbus (Bobby Fischer Against the World, Killing in the Name), the fully authorized doc incorporates concert footage, archival material, and interviews taking place over three decades. The movie will be available on Netflix June 26.

'Are you ready to burn buildings?' [The Guardian]
What Happened, Miss Simone? makes the case that Simone was not only one of the most talented musicians of the 20th century but one of the most troubled and unlucky. It shows how she always felt she had been denied her true calling; how she never achieved the success that prettier, more biddable singers enjoyed; how she invested so much of herself in the civil rights movement that she was shattered when it faltered; how she suffered physical abuse from her husband and manager Andrew Stroud and inflicted it on her daughter Lisa; how her bipolar condition was only diagnosed in the 1980s, long after her volatility had inflicted irreparable damage. She was an outcast who only briefly found safe harbour — first as a wife and mother, then as an activist – before it was snatched away. Not fitting in made her great, but it also made her angry and very lonely.
posted by Fizz (15 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
And I'm now listening to Nina for the rest of the day.
posted by Fizz at 9:20 AM on June 23, 2015

Thank you. This looks great.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:23 AM on June 23, 2015

Also, there is an accompanying soundtrack/Nina Simone tribute album being released by RCA, which includes FIVE Lauryn Hill covers as well as songs by Usher, Mary J. Blige, Common and others.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:32 AM on June 23, 2015 [4 favorites]

One of the greatest voices ever. Can't wait for this.
posted by gwint at 9:50 AM on June 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

There was a good piece on Simone in the New Yorker a while back. One of the most astonishing voices ever, I think--and a brilliant pianist, to boot. I'm looking forward to this film.
posted by yoink at 10:02 AM on June 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Four Women, from a 1969 music festival held in Harlem.
posted by Eyebeams at 10:15 AM on June 23, 2015

In the wake of Ferguson, Baltimore, Charleston, etc, "Mississippi Goddam" seems as relevant as when Ms. Simone first sang it (though perhaps in need of additional verses now).
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 10:33 AM on June 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Nina Simone - Gin House Blues (live)

good to wait until after midnight and you are variously inebrieated while listening.
posted by telstar at 11:07 AM on June 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

For many reasons, I have this running list of people lost during the bush years

nina simone, alice coltrane, george carlin, howard zinn, molly ivins, hunter thompson, vonnegut...

posted by brainimplant at 11:34 AM on June 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

I have been waiting for this to come out. So glad it's almost here.
posted by immlass at 12:00 PM on June 23, 2015

Tragically apt: Nina Simone's Gun by Saeed Jones:

Nina Simone was listening to the radio at home when she heard about the church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama that killed four black girls. It was 1963. The year Dr. King wrote his Letter from Birmingham Jail. The year Kennedy announced the Civil Rights Bill. The year Medgar Evers was gunned down in his own driveway. But four little girls?

As Simone later recalled, “All the truths that I had denied to myself for so long rose up and slapped my face… It came as a rush of fury, hatred and determination. In church language, the Truth entered me and I came through.”

posted by Gin and Broadband at 1:05 PM on June 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

Can't resist to share this: Montreux 1976 - How it feels to be free, my favourite rendition of the song. She's mesmerizing. Looking forward to the documentary!
posted by erin trouble at 1:20 PM on June 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

THAT'S who I would put on the $10 bill.
posted by ghostiger at 2:01 PM on June 23, 2015 [8 favorites]

So amazing. Thanks.
posted by allthinky at 2:41 PM on June 23, 2015

Well I watched it and damn if it isn't one of the most riveting docs I've ever seen. I expect I'll watch it a few more times.

(I know this thread is pretty much dead but....couldn't find an fresher one and really, really really wanted to add my .02)
posted by merelyglib at 3:53 PM on July 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

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