Nina Simone Documentary

Sundance Review: What Happened, Miss Simone?

Quoting from the above referenced review:

“Sometimes I sound like gravel and sometimes I sound like coffee and cream,” Nina Simone remarks of her signature husky tenor at one point in Liz Garbus’ documentary “What Happened, Miss Simone?” And it is that voice, spoken and sung, which guides us through Garbus’ meticulously researched, tough-love portrait of the brilliant but troubled folk/jazz/soul diva, drawing on a vast archive of audio interviews, diary pages and performance footage that allows Simone (who died of cancer in 2003) to answer the title question in her own unmistakable words. A most satisfying rendering of a complex cultural legacy, “Miss Simone” will reach audiences via Netflix following its opening-night Sundance premiere.

Follow the link to read the entire review.

Netflix will debut the movie July 26. To me, this documentary is a “must see” movie. Nina Simone was a gifted musician and singer. However, her importance as a voice of the Civil Rights movement should be acknowledged as well. According to

“By the mid-1960s, Simone became known as the voice of the civil rights movement. She wrote “Mississippi Goddam” in response to the 1963 assassination of Medgar Evers and the Birmingham church bombing that killed four young African-American girls. After the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968, Simone penned “Why (The King of Love Is Dead).” She also wrote “Young, Gifted and Black,” borrowing the title of a play by Hansberry, which became a popular anthem at the time.”

I was too young to appreciate or understand the Civil Rights movement during the 60s. I’ve only in recent years realized the importance of those who risked their lives to force change in American values. Although the documentary focuses on her music, there are so many facets of Miss Simome’s life which encompass who she was in totality.