The Amazing Nina Simone
With musical proclamations like “Mississippi Goddam” and an iconic style, Nina Simone was both loved and feared throughout the 1960s for her outspoken vision of Black Freedom. Today, a decade after her death, Nina Simone is more popular than ever before. President Barack Obama listed “Sinnerman” in his top 5 favorite songs, and whether re-mixed, re-sampled or in its pure form, Nina’s music continues to reflect the turbulent twists of our times, and empower people around the world. “The Amazing Nina Simone” digs deep into Nina’s artistry, exclusively speaking to over 50 of her friends, family, band members, lovers and fellow activists to discover the intentions behind some of Nina’s bold lyrics, defiant statements, unique style and uncompromising positions. The film traces Nina’s roots from her upbringing in segregated North Carolina, when she was once Eunice Waymon and destined to be a great Classical Pianist, following her a s she experiences early disappointments, lands in an Atlantic City bar, and develops her unique signature mix of layering folk, gospel, classical, jazz, and pop music. Forced to sing or lose the job, she conceals from her religious mother that she is performing in a bar, and Nina Simone - a star - is born. The documentary follows Nina on her rise to fame, her education among Harlem’s intelligentsia, the creation of over 30 albums, navigating the many factions of the Civil Rights Movement, proclaiming her own unique identity through her style, fashion, and sexuality, and her abrupt departure from the United States. Chased by an untreated illness that consumes both her and her actions, Nina eventually re-builds her career, performing again for a generation of fans eager to rekindle the optimism and love she once provided in the 1960s.
Starring Nikki Giovanni, Eric Burdon, Nina Simone
Director Jeff L. Lieberman