Imagine Will Smith as a woman…with the same tormented look of “I am Legend”…a tortured soul, lonely and with inner challenges beyond human comprehension…imagine…imagine Zoe Saldana playing Nina Simone. Yes!

A biographical drama

There is no better movie acted by an African American woman in 2016 other than the part portrayed by Nina Simone. Based on a true story, the real Nina Simone was an iconic musician and civil rights activist, who grew up having mastered ‘Mozart’ but couldn’t get her parents to sit upfront when she was performing. Reason being? They were black.

A talented young girl, Nina took the bold step of insisting she wouldn’t play if her parents did not sit upfront, and so the entire white audience shifted seats just to accommodate this wonder girl, in a desperate bid to hear her play the piano.

The cost of standing up

Such bravado was not without emotional cost. And it sets the tone for a timultous career that we get to glimpse at the very end, with a glimmer of hope, full of sadness and joy at the same time, with a slight hint of love.

Such a cocktail is Nina, a 2016 film that should have been nominated for an academy award at the very least. But hey, the Oscars not so black this year 🙂

A must watch movie

A movie about race, music, booze, celebration of life and how to handle the inevitable end of fame and our very existence on earth. A must watch.

The intro song kills it:

Birds flying high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by you know how I feel

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good

On one of her music videos on youtube(, a fan made a worthy comment that recognizes the real talent Nina Simone was.

Jon Goldney1 month ago
A poignant reminder that the ability to create great art and music is a rare gift 
attributed only to those few souls who have the inherent understanding that it is 
incumbent upon them to share it with the rest of the world, at all costs, 
often at the expense of their well-being and in defiance of the instinct for 
self-preservation. The unenviable, undeniable paradox of genius.

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James Maina is the editor of What To Watch. Passionate about the creative world of film and media, James loves to create magazines, video games, websites and android apps in his spare time, but he is most passionate about one thing: Movies on the big screen. Email your feedback to