Fascinating documentary on a troubled musician
- What Happened, Miss Simone? review by PV
The first thing to note about this is that Nina Simone's daughter and estate was involved in making it - so there is no mention of her arrest a couple of years before her death (for shooting a pistol at local kids who were scrumping apples from a tea in her garden in the south of France).
No mention either of her view, shaped by racist black power activicts, that there should be a black-only state in the USA where whites were banned.
It's fair to say really that the glory days of Nina Simone (born Eunice Waymon) were in the 50s and early 60s. By the late 60s she was taken advantage of by black power activists who filled her head with racist and violent nonsense, and bucketfuls of Mao-ist Marxist dogma. So instead of playing great music, she ranted at audiences with parroted slogans.
Like many a great musician, she then fell on hard times - and the redemption of her later comeback years are eye-opening, if sad.
So, not perfect. But Nina Simone is the piano player's piano player - the favourite musician of so many other musicians.
Her story is one of racial segregation in the USA from both racist blacks and racist whites - so, in that, the division seems just as much, if not more, today.
A must-see for musicians.
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