Netflix, which is primarily known as a streaming service, has been pushing for more original content recently. It was announced that one of these original projects will be a feature-length documentary on the life of legendary singer Nina Simone. The documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone?, will be using three decades worth of recorded material including rare interviews, concert recordings, and diary entries. The film is directed by the critically acclaimed documentarian Liz Garbus, who made the films Bobby Fischer Against the World and The Farm: Angola, USA. What Happened, Miss Simone? will be released worldwide next year.
As much as she is known for her music, Simone is also known for her fiery temperament and her political views. Simone criticized the Vietnam War in her songs, and even supported the armed revolt of African Americans during a time when the Civil Rights movement was at its peak. The documentary claims it will shine a light on these aspects of Simone’s life, and according to Netflix, it will be “the most authentic, personal, and unflinching telling of the extraordinary life of one of the 20th century’s greatest recording artists”.
— Variety (@Variety) December 5, 2014
“I’m thrilled that Netflix has embraced the incredible story of Nina Simone and partnered with RadicalMedia on this film,” director Liz Garbus said about the film. “Nina feels like a treasured secret. With What Happened, Miss Simone? I’m excited to help bring her passion, her music and her story to the world.” Lisa Nishimura, Netflix’s VP of original documentary programming, also released a statement saying that the film “paints a brave and provocative picture of Nina Simone — artist, civil-rights activist and heroine — in a film that we’ve loved from Day One and are proud to bring to our viewers around the world.”
Nina Simone was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon on February 21, 1933. She is known for her songs I Put a Spell on You and Feeling Good among others. She passed away on April 21, 2003, years after being diagnosed with breast cancer.