With TINA, Tina Turner bids farewell to public eye. It’s a touching HBO documentary that reflects on her tragic and triumphant life
The story of Tina Turner is a familiar one, already laid out in two memoirs, a biopic movie starring Angela Basset, and a stage musical. And to give credit where due, the directors of TINA enrich and deepens that story — and in often unexpected and sometimes unsettling ways.
Standing at two hours, TINA tells the story in chapters by mixing footage from a new interview (2019) and never seen before archival tapes. In fact, the most important one of those tapes would be her 1981 interview with People magazine: It’s the interview where she first went public with the abuse she endured during her marriage to Ike Turner.
Without going into details (well, watch the documentary), we’re reminded of the couple’s onstage magic, recording new music in Ike’s studio, as well as some home footage from their house in Lost Angeles.
Similar to her previous projects, Turner herself doesn’t go light on the gory details of what happened with Ike. The famous divorce resulted in Ike taking everything from her including the royalties of their joint work. Tina Turner got to keep name via court. I was taken on a wild ride thanks to a lot of visuals and footage that enhance the tale in ways that books or staged biopic scenes can’t. From footage of Turner on TV variety shows to playing Vegas (or similar nightclub venues). It’s a haunting proof of how close she was to becoming a has-been in her thirties, when she should have been the shining icon she now is.
“It wasn’t a good life,” Turner says in the film. “It was in some areas, but the good didn’t outbalance the bad.”
The documentary wraps up with how she met her husband and reconnecting with her mother only to learn that her mom doesn’t seem to believe she deserves her success and material goods. She deserves all the love and appreciation for what’s obviously a hard life. Tina turned her life around, overcame her struggles and became shining beacon for a lot of people.
Should you watch it?
When it comes to Tina Turner. The answer will always be YES. And this is no exception. You’ll be happy, angry, sad, happy again. And at the end, totally grateful for the icon that is Tina Turner.