What Happened Miss Simone?
Dispersed among the footage are archival glimpses into Nina’s journals, where we can read quick sketches of her own thoughts and feelings. And although the particular journal entries are chosen and shaped to fit the narrative Garbus is presenting, it only helps to give us a deeper understanding of the complexity of being a Black woman artist in racist America. Nothing has changed.
Anyone could make a pretty good video montage of Nina Simone in popular culture: first that iconic Chanel commercial featuring Simone’s version of “My Baby Just Cares For Me,” then an early pre-Wallace-and-Gromit Aardman Studios short in which a sexy, clay-mation cat chanteuse sings the same song (in Simone’s voice), and finally Julie Delpy near the very end of ‘Before Sunset’ imitating Simone’s stage patter (white people, please, let’s not mimic Black people ever) for Ethan Hawke.