It would probably be a struggle to find anyone across the world who doesn’t know the name Tina Turner. 80s tracks such as What’s Love Got to Do With It and Simply the Best catapulted the American singer to worldwide fame, while images of her powerhouse performances in her trademark sequinned mini dress, mane-like hair and red lippy are the very definition of iconic. But perhaps lesser known is the heartbreaking story of the life that preceded her success, not least the abuse she suffered at the hands of her partner, Ike, at the beginning of her career.
Following on from documentaries tackling football and the LA riots, Academy-award winning co-directors Daniel Lindsay and TJ Martin have put together a fascinating, and sensitively-crafted retrospective on Tina’s life and career. They both provide insight into the most traumatic moments, as well as celebrate her inextinguishable spirit and talent, splicing together archival footage and audiotapes with present-day interviews with the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Tina herself.
We had the pleasure of speaking to Lindsay and Martin about how they came to make a documentary about Tina’s life, the parallels and contrasts with other documentaries about iconic female stars, such as Amy and Whitney Houston, and the need to balance a truthful telling of the most challenging parts of her past with the highs of success and avoiding Tina having to relive her trauma again. They also reflected on how such stories of abuse play out in today’s climate and with a new generation, and whether they think this film really will be Tina’s farewell to the world stage.
By Sarah Bradbury. First published on The Upcoming on 31st March 2021.
Tina is available now on Sky On Demand, NOW and via altitude.film, and on Blu-ray and DVD from 1st April 2020.
Watch the trailer for Tina here: