By Mr. Will Wong
Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin co-direct this powerful Documentary about living legend Tina Turner, titled simply TINA. The Film has Turner participating in 2019, reflecting on her life and career from her palatial home in Switzerland. We go all the way back to her childhood as she deals with her own abandonment as a child, to her relationship with Ike Turner and the abusive ties that bound her to her family and career.
Her comeback in the ’80s is chronicled, her overcoming all odds as a 40+ year-old black woman in Rock music getting a record deal, topping the charts and filling arenas. Though the domestic abuse she endured wasn’t meant to be a vehicle for her comeback, we also see how the Media’s incessant focus on her ties to Ike Turner, holding her back from becoming who she was meant to become. That is, as Oprah Winfrey describes so well in the Film, she couldn’t heal as she continued to bleed having answering questions and re-live her time with the man she left over and over again.
Lindsay and Martin get an interesting spectrum of those involved in her story. In addition to Winfrey, those included are Writer and Biographer Kurt Loder, Playwright Katori Hall who wrote the Tina Turner Musical which played on Broadway, Backup Singer Le’Juene Fletcher, and Angela Bassett who received an Academy Award nomination playing Turner in What’s Love Got To Do With It. Archived interviews featuring Ike Turner and her sons also are utilized to bring us back in time and also enabling us to see her story through a broader lens.
The Duo cut-in performances from different periods from which the story is told and these are used to great effect, especially a performance of The Beatles’ Help where her hunger to be loved is felt through the screen. The performances and music speak for themselves and we are under Turner‘s spell in those intimate moments shared with her adoring fans.
If one thing can be taken away from the Documentary, it is that while Turner has endured some painful things in her life, those are things that helped define her. As she says, whether meeting Ike Turner was a good thing or a bad thing, that is open to interpretation. Above that, she has put the pain in the past and doesn’t want to revisit it again. Her husband Erwin Bach explains as we see footage of her attending the 2018 Premiere of the TINA Musical, that this Documentary serves as a “goodbye to her fans” and “a closure” to a celebrated career. We’re so lucky to witnessed her power in this lifetime.
TINA streams now on Crave with the HBO add-on.
Some snaps of I got of Turner back in 2018 at her last Toronto shows at Air Canada Centre. What a show!
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