Tuesday, January 19, 2016

What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)

Director: Liz Garbus. 101 min. Not Rated. Documentary.

Same problem I had with another musician biopic this year, up for an Oscar (Amy): a documentary that fails to describe the importance of this person to a viewer who's coming to know her for the first time. Because for me, this film functioned almost the opposite: it's honest enough to disclose that Nina Simone, a crucial figure in soul music, was abused and abused others, suffered from bipolar manic-depressive disorder, and as part of the civil rights movement, literally asked her audience during concerts whether they're ready to blow up buildings and kill the white man. I mean ... seriously?

Mo says:

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