What Happened, Miss Simone?
This is a superbly made documentary about a musician I knew almost nothing about, which is the reason I decided to watch it.
Nina was a brilliant but troubled person, and she had a very difficult life at times. She was also bipolar, and had quite the temper. She once attempted to shoot a record producer because she thought he was taking her royalties, and in one scene in the film she stopped playing during a concert and shouted at a woman in the audience who was not sitting down.
She was however a brilliant musician. There was a story in the documentary about how Miles Davis was watching her play and could not understand how she was doing what she was doing, which if it stumped Miles Davis must have been something very special.
The film was very well told, and featured interviews with her ex-husband (he beat her a lot), and her daughter who also produced this documentary. There was plenty of archive footage, including some rather shocking footage of the unbelievable treatment that African Americans were subject to back in the 60’s, especially from the police. She was a staunch activist for many years.
A very worthwhile watch if you are a lover of music history.
Date watched: July 24th
Film count 2017: 82