What Happened, Miss Simone?

Director
Liz Garbus
Producer
Liz Garbus, Justin Wilkes, Amy Hobby, Jayson Jackson
Year
2016
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Special (Won) Peabody Award - Documentary (Won) Academy Award Best Documentary Feature (Nominated) 6 Primetime Emmy Awards (Nominated) Grammy Award for Best Music Film (Nominated)

Nina Simone achieved fame, fortune and legend status. But she wanted more. She wanted equality. This Emmy-winning film unravels the story of an enigmatic and towering artist.

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?'

“[After watching the film], I danced around the room. I was so happy and I felt a huge weight that I didn’t know I was carrying lift from my heart. I knew that my job was done, and my promise to my mother on her deathbed had been accomplished.”

Lisa Simone Kelly, Executive Producer
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