Nearly every fan of rock ‘n roll knows the name of Tina Turner. Born on November 26th, 1939 as Anna Mae Bullock, Turner rose to stardom as the lead singer for Ike & Tina Turner, later launching her own career as a solo artist. She cemented her place in history as one of the best-selling recording artists of all time, with more than 100 million records sold. Turner has achieved twelve Grammy Awards, three Grammy Hall of Fame recognitions, and was the first black artist and first female artist to be featured on the cover of Rolling Stone.
The two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been the subject of multiple books, a biopic and a star-studded Broadway Musical. Now, in a mere runtime of one hour and 58 minutes, HBO’s new documentary entitled Tina delves into what is billed as an “unvarnished and dynamic account” of Turner’s life and career as the Queen of Rock N’ Roll.
Tina does not hesitate to address Turner’s heavier moments in life, tackling everything from domestic abuse to struggles with both mental and physical health issues. The film is directed by Oscar-award winning filmmakers Angela Bassett, Oprah Winfrey, Kurt Loder, Katori Hall and Tina’s own husband Erwin Bach. All work to paint a genuine, human portrait of Turner’s dynamic career.
The film was produced with the blessing of Turner herself, who expressed her feelings towards the project in an interview with National Public Radio.
“Some people say the life I’ve lived and the performances I gave…the appreciation is lasting with people, and I should be proud of that. I am. But when do you stop being proud? How do you bow out slowly—and just go away?”
Turner’s husband, Erwin Bach, elaborates a short time after, revealing Turner’s intention of travelling back to America for the purpose of “saying goodbye” to her American fans.
“I think this documentary and the musical are it. It’s our closure,” Bach concluded. These sentiments lead many to believe that Turner is indeed concluding her chapter as a public figure. Having been celebrated through decades of pop culture, it would seem this new film is to serve as a sort of swan song for the beloved performer.
In a promotional statement to the press, HBO issued the following remarks:
“Everything changed when Tina began telling her story: one of trauma and survival, one that gave way to a rebirth as the record-breaking queen of rock ‘n roll. But behind closed doors, the singer struggled with the survivor narrative, meaning her past was never truly behind her.”
Tina is currently available for streaming on HBO Max.