Netflix’s new documentary about the life of singer Nina Simone is off to a strong start, receiving high praise from the audience at the Sundance Film Festival.
The film, What Happened, Miss Simone?, received a standing ovation and the praise has continued on Twitter.
Standing ovation for What Happened Nina Simone? "If we had voices like Simone's in the movement that's been building? Continue those songs!"
— Anne Thompson (@akstanwyck) January 23, 2015
WHAT HAPPENED, NINA SIMONE? is brilliant: unflinching, sometimes infuriating, and hugely inspiring. What a life.
— Mike Hogan (@mike_hogan) January 23, 2015
WHAT HAPPENED, NINA SIMONE answers that question. A vital & richly drawn portrait about the costs of brilliant talent & fame. #Sundance
— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) January 23, 2015
The documentary, announced in December, will hit Netflix this year.
Classically trained pianist, dive-bar chanteuse, black power icon and legendary recording artist, Nina Simone lived a life of brutal honesty, musical genius, and tortured melancholy. In this epic documentary, director Liz Garbus interweaves never-before-heard recordings and rare archival footage together with Ninas most memorable songs, to create an unforgettable portrait of one of the least understood, yet most beloved, artists of our time.
The film uses never-before-heard audio tapes, recorded over the course of three decades, of Nina telling her life story to various interviewers and would-be biographers. From over 100 hours of these recordings, What Happened, Miss Simone? weaves together Ninas narrative, told largely in her own words. Rare concert footage and archival interviews, along with diaries, letters, interviews with Ninas daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly, friends and collaborators, along with other exclusive materials, make this the most authentic, personal, and unflinching telling of the extraordinary life of one of the 20th Century’s greatest recording artists.
After the premiere of the film, John Legend took to the stage to play a touching tribute to Simone, who died in 2003.
The great John Legend is slaying Nina Simone's "Lilac Wine" onstage after @lizgarbus doc premiere @sundancefest. pic.twitter.com/oaW1CrBkvg
— Scott Foundas (@foundasonfilm) January 23, 2015
“Her life was a reflection of the legacy of racism in America but also of the extraordinary power that a righteous voice can have against even the most wicked historical legacy,” said Garbus.
Image via Netflix, YouTube