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?'
The documentary does a great job of telling the story of Nina Simone, though archive footage and interviews by those close to her, like her own daughter.
The documentary seems to focus on her erratic behavior, which caused her career to take a downfall.
I thought the filmmakers did a great job of actually expressing her behavior. It really captured the changes in her life from moment to moment. The way it just cut from one time to another made me feel the passion and understand how Nina must have felt when she got into the Civil Rights movement.
I did not know much about Nina Simone before the doc, only that people would tell me she was great, but the documentary showed me how great she was. It did a good job of connecting her with the viewer.
Catch it on Netflix.
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