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What happened Miss Simone?

Genre:  Documentary

Year:  2015

Directed by:  Liz Garbos

Runtime:  1 hour 42 minutes



Prior to her death in 2003, Jazz singer and classical pianist legend Nina Simone received 15 Grammy nominations and was entered into the Grammy Hall of Fall in 2000.  “What Happened, Miss Simone?” chronicles the life and transformation of Nina Simone, from her humble beginnings in Tryon North Carolina to the pinnacle of her career while examining the political involvement that crippled her advancement in the United States.  The documentary explains that she was born as Eunice Waymon in 1933 in when her mother served as a preacher and allowed her to play the piano at her revivals.

 Similar to Dr. Mary Mcleod Bethune, her early education was funded by the philanthropic contributions of white women who saw her potential.  Key interviewees who shed light upon her personal struggles include her daughter, Lisa Simone and her ex husband, Andrew Stroud who both illustrate the abuse she encountered as Stroud abandoned his career as a police officer to manage Simone.  To his disdain, Simone became a radical civil rights movement leader which left many radio stations and booking agents unwilling to support her.  The struggle intensified as she watched her personal affairs suffer at the expense of her passion to voice her people’s pain.