Réalisatrice noticed numerous documentaries, including the Oscar-nominated in 1999 THE FARM : ANGOLA USA , but also, more recently, LOVE MARILYN or BOBBY FISHER AGAINST THE WORLD, Liz Garbus tackles by an icon of jazz and blues of the 60s and 70s : Nina Simone. This singer-pianist-songwriter who has experienced his first success in 1958 with his cover of’I love you Porgy presents both a huge talent and a destiny tumultuous as strong convictions.

WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE ? built mostly through the words of the artist that they are extracted from interviews, tv and radio or epistolary exchanges, and is gradually enriched by the testimonies of his relatives and of the historical context of the period, such as the assassination of Martin Luther King for example. In particular, this allows to put in perspective the civic engagement of Nina Simone in relation to the rights of the black community.

The aesthetic and pace of the whole documentary are worn by photos and videos of the era of good invoice, as well as interviews with contemporary relatives. But what actually carries this documentary and the relationship that one can have with the work of Nina Simone proves in fact the tone of the film as a whole : the whole soundtrack, song excerpts, interviews of the time, we really plunges into the world of the artist, and in this time of release pretty violent that it is for african americans or even women.

The feeling is there, the fall of the artist, like his talent, are here obvious. Click to tweet

We regret that the sides of one’s personal life and tough enough of its commitments, the documentary does not compensate slightly the violence depicted by a approach a little more push on the work itself and the talent that contrebalançait this convoluted personality. Nevertheless, the feeling is there, the fall of the artist as his talent remain evident and the documentary hears of a beautiful way on the personality tortured to Nina Simone but it requires, without doubt, a knowledge at least of minimal to what it has created or interpreted to appreciate what this film depicts.



Original title : What happened, Miss Simone ?

Achievement : Liz Garbus

Main actors : Nina Simone

Country of origin : United States

Released : June 26, 2015 (Netflix)

Duration : 1h42mn

Distributor : Moxie Firecracker Films / Netflix

Synopsis : legendary Artist and activist passionate about civil rights, Nina Simone was marked his era as much as his time has been marked. How a child prodigy of the piano it has become an icon controversial Black Power ? By combining rare archival, testimony of loved ones — including the own daughter of Nina — and audio tapes exclusive, What Happened, Miss Simone ? traces the development of the off-norm of one of the artists most liked and least understood of the Twentieth century. Primarily told in the first person, a story of life, the epic and the personal, signed by the filmmaker named Oscar Liz Garbus.

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