Tina (Daniel Lindsay/T.J. Martin, 2021, USA)

Tina is the swan song for Tina Turner, who died in May 2023. Released in 2021, the film is directed by Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin. This pair also directed the Oscar-winning and highly-acclaimed 2011 high school football doc Undefeated. If anything, Tina is a very polished tribute to the late icon. Separated into five chapters, the film chronicles Turner's (born Anna Mae Bullock in Brownsville, Tennessee) rise to become one of the most successful stars in the world. It was an unlikely rise - by the time she became a worldwide sensation, Turner was already in her 40s, an age at which most pop stars are bowing out of the limelight. 

Tina's tumultuous and abusive relationship with her producer and music partner Ike Turner forms a large part of the film's story, but thankfully does not overwhelm the entire film. Turner is presented as a phoenix rising from the ashes of her marriage to Ike Turner (the couple separated in the late 1970s). The film does provide some psychologizing, namely looking at Turner's relationship with her mother. Although the film is keener to capture her magnetism as a performer, in this way, it succeeds. 

Running two hours, the film culminates with Turner's success in the late 80s. The final chapter is characterized by her relationship with her husband Erwin Bach, and her new life in her new home country of Switzerland. Despite its length, the film moves at a brisk pace and doesn't feel overlong. The filmmakers manage to secure all the talking heads needed for the film, including - among others - Oprah. For those looking for an introduction to Turner's career and legacy, look no further than Tina. It will be interesting to see what Lindsay and Martin turn their eyes to next, as they have mastered the music doc.



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