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What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)

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

Director:

Liz Garbus
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Her Story. Her Voice.


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

24 June 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Nina Simone Film See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lisa Simone Kelly who is Nina Simone's daughter, joined the project as a producer in reaction to her distaste for the biopic Nina (2016)which she believed inaccurately portrayed her mother. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Featured in Close Up with the Hollywood Reporter: Documentary (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Me or Leave Me
Written by Gus Kahn, Walter Donaldson
Published by WB Music Corp. / ASCAP
Courtesy of Warner / Chappell Music, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A stark reminder of an extraordinary talent
30 September 2015 | by paul2001sw-1See all my reviews

Nina Simone was an extraordinary artist, a singer with an amazing, androgynous voice, a pianist from the age of four, a master of many styles (yet each one made distinctively her own), and a performer who put an amazing amount of herself into every song she sang. But she was also a frequently unhappy woman, a sufferer from manic depression, and while she was involved in the struggle for black civil rights in the United States, she did not allow herself the indulgence of viewing the outcome of that fight with satisfaction. 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' tells the story of her life and career with songs, comments from friends, and extensive excerpts from interviews she gave. It's fascinating, but also overlong, and while many assert the Nina was a difficult woman, few actually describe the reality of living with her in detail, which is a bit frustrating: she was a private person when not on stage, and the frailties hinted at in her public performances are never completely explained. You finish this documentary wanting to know more; but also, perhaps, feeling you could have been told what you've just learnt in a little less time.


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