Classically trained pianist, dive-bar chanteuse, black power icon and legendary recording artist, Nina Simone lived a life of brutal honesty, musical genius and tortured melancholy. In this epic documentary, director Liz Garbus interweaves never-before-heard recordings and rare archival footage together with Nina’s most memorable songs, to create an unforgettable portrait of one of the least understood, yet most beloved, artists of our time.
What Happened, Miss Simone? uses recently unearthed audiotapes, recorded over the course of three decades, of Nina telling her life story to various interviewers and would-be biographers. From over 100 hours of these recordings, the film weaves together Nina’s narrative, told largely in her own words. Rare concert footage and archival interviews, along with diaries, letters, interviews with Nina’s daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly, friends and collaborators, along with other exclusive materials, make this the most authentic, personal and unflinching telling of the extraordinary life of one of the 20th century’s greatest recording artists.