25 user 65 critic

What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography, Music | 24 June 2015 (USA)
2:19 | Trailer
A documentary about the life and legend Nina Simone, an American singer, pianist, and civil rights activist labeled the "High Priestess of Soul."


Liz Garbus
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview:
Nina Simone ... Self (archive footage)
Lisa Simone Kelly Lisa Simone Kelly ... Self
Roger Nupie Roger Nupie ... Self
Al Schackman Al Schackman ... Self
George Wein George Wein ... Self
Stanley Crouch ... Self
Andrew Stroud Andrew Stroud ... Self (archive footage)
Dick Gregory ... Self
Ilyasah Shabazz ... Self
Attallah Shabazz Attallah Shabazz ... Self (as Ambassador Shabazz)
Gerrit De Bruin Gerrit De Bruin ... Self
Eleanor Belinfanti Eleanor Belinfanti ... Cast
Gregory Marlow Gregory Marlow ... Cast
Elisabeth Henry ... Cast: Mrs Mazzanovich (as Elizabeth Henry)


On stage Nina Simone was known for her utterly free, uninhibited musical expression, which enthralled audiences and attracted life-long fans. But amid the violent, haunting, and senseless day-to-day of the civil rights era in 1960s America, Simone struggled to reconcile her artistic identity and ambition with her devotion to a movement. Culled from hours of autobiographical tapes, this new film unveils the unmitigated ego of a brilliant artist and the absurdities of her time. At the height of her fame Simone walked away from her family, country, career and fans, to move to Liberia and give up performing. The story of her life leading up to that event poses the question, 'how does royalty stomp around in the mud and still walk with grace?'

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Her Story. Her Voice.


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The fourteenth Netflix original documentary. See more »


Nina Simone: We will shape and mold this country or it will not be molded and shaped at all anymore. So I think we don't have a choice. How can you be an artist and not reflect the times?
See more »


Referenced in What Happened, Miss Simone? - Bonus Interviews (2016) See more »


Are You Ready?
(from a poem by David Nelson of The Last Poets)
Performed by Nina Simone
See more »

User Reviews

Moving and timely
26 June 2015 | by baruch-253-895548See all my reviews

"What Happened, Miss Simone?" pulls you right into the life of the little girl, Eunice Waymon, who becomes Nina Simone. Through skillful use of archival audio and film, interviews and other contextual materials, and clearly with a genuine appreciation and love for the subject, Liz Garbus has found the thread that strings all of this material together; the genius and passion of a driven artist. Hearing the familiar songs with their stories, and learning about Nina's life journey, all somehow fits powerfully with contemporary racial issues in the US. This film can serve to educate, and inspire, as we continue to navigate the tortuous path to justice. Thank you for making this film, and bringing Nina Simone to even more people.

30 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 25 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.





English | French

Release Date:

24 June 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

What Happened, Miss Simone? See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed