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Nina Simone Documentary: Netflix Release Date Announced

by Kimberley Richards   Mar 11, 2015 20:22 PM EDT

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What Happened, Miss Simone?, the Nina Simone documentary highlighting the influential singer/songwriter and civil rights activist will premiere on Netlflix June 26.

According to Billboard, the Liz Garbus film includes previously unreleased recordings and "rare archival footage" of Simone. The documentary recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this past January. The premier included a tribute concert featuring Common, John Legend, Aloe Blacc and Leon Bridges. Legend performed some of Simone's best-known songs, "Lilac Wine," "I Wish I Knew How It Feels to Be Free" and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood."

"Netflix is presenting Simone as a 'classically trained pianist, dive-bar chanteuse, black power icon and legendary recording artist [who] lived a life of brutal honesty, musical genius and tortured melancholy," Billboard reported.

"I'm thrilled that Netflix has embraced the incredible story of Nina Simone and partnered with RadicalMedia on this film," Garbus said according to Variety. "Nina feels like a treasured secret. With What Happened, Miss Simone? I'm excited to help bring her passion, her music and her story to the world."

Variety also reported that Lisa Nishimura, Netflix vice president of original documentary programming, relayed that the documentary "Paints a brave and provocative picture of Nina Simone — artist, civil-rights activist and heroine — in a film that we've loved from day one and are proud to bring to our viewers around the world."

The film will next play at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival that runs April 23 to May 3 in Toronto.

What Happened, Miss Simone? is produced by Netlix and RadicalMedia in association with Moxie Firecracker (Garbus is the co-founder).

Variety reports that Garbus has produced more than 15 films, including Love, Marilyn, There's Something Wrong with Aunt Diane and Girlhood. The Farm: Angola, USA was Garbus' first film. It won the Grand Jury Prize at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, accumulated two Primetime Emmy Awards and was nominated for an Oscar.

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