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What Happened, Miss Simone?

Liz Garbus

What Happened, Miss Simone?

by Liz Garbus

What Happened, Miss Simone?

Liz Garbus

5 min
3 key insights
Visual, audio & text

What Happened, Miss Simone? is a documentary-style movie that tells the story of the queen of blues, Nina Simone, who journeyed from child prodigy from a poor family to a powerful figure in the U.S. civil rights movement.

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What Happened, Miss Simone?

by Liz Garbus

What Happened, Miss Simone?

Liz Garbus

Overview

When it comes to celebrities and those in the public eye, what we see on-stage is rarely the full story. Despite what tabloid journalism might lead you to believe, the artists and celebrities who inspire and entertain us are more than just public figures – they're human beings.

Released in 2015, this documentary film takes a deep dive into the personal life and struggles of jazz icon Nina Simone. We know Simone for her grand performances and records, but under the surface lay a personal journey of loneliness, anger, and trauma.

And who better to tell the backstage-story of this music legend than Emmy Award-winning Liz Garbus? Garbus has directed and produced notable documentaries like Bobby Fischer Against the World, and National Society of Film Critics' Best Non-Fiction Film winner, The Farm: Angola, USA. What Happened, Miss Simone? won Garbus the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary in 2016. As this documentary unpacks, Simone's life was not without struggle; despite becoming an international star, as a Black American, Miss Simone endured many struggles for power in both her personal and public life.

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Favorite Quote

"How can you be an artist and not reflect the time?"

Nina Simone, singer, pianist, civil rights activist

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What Happened, Miss Simone?

Liz Garbus

Watch this documentary on Netflix
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