Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Netflix is moving into the documentary production business. Having found critical success with its first round of documentary acquisitions (an Oscar nomination for The Square, the recent Virunga being shortlisted for another), the streaming company has decided to begin producing them, rather than simply purchasing a finished product. Deadline reports that Netflix is pairing with RadicalMedia to produce a film about renowned singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone.

Titled What Happened, Miss Simone?, the movie—unlike that Zoe Saldana-starring biopic, made in cooperation with Simone’s estate—will feature previously unheard audio tapes recorded over the span of three decades. The tapes feature Simone herself recounting her life story to interviewers and would-be biographers, with over 100 hours of material from which the film will draw. In addition, the documentary contains rare concert footage, archival interviews, as well as “diaries, letters, interviews with Nina’s daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly, friends and collaborators.”


What Happened, Miss Simone? is being directed by Liz Garbus, who has received her own share of critical acclaim for previous documentaries Bobby Fischer Against The World and The Farm: Angola, USA, the latter of which received an Oscar nomination. What Happened, Miss Simone? will debut on Netflix in 2015. In case you need a reminder of Simone’s singular talent, here’s an incredible version of “Mississippi Goddam” that should do the job.

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