Photo Credit: Atlanta Black Star
The first trailer for the Nina Simone movie that premiered last week has the internet going crazy but not in a good way. The movie titled “Nina” stars actress Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone. The film will cover the life of the singer and civil rights activist and it will chronicle her career demise and return to music.
When it was first announced that Saldana would be portraying Nina Simone, producers were met with a lot of criticism particularly from black viewers who believed that an actress who better resembled Simone should have been cast for the role. Nina Simone had a very dark complexion and she was known for her strong ethnic features. I think the biggest issue with Saldana being cast for the role is that she does not identify as African American but as a Black Latino.
Watching the trailer you can visibly see Saldana’s heavy dark make-up and prosthetic nose. Many have compared Saldana’s appearance in the movie to a caricature. Singer India Arie is one of the many people who have spoken out against the film. She had the following to say about the casting choice:
“I think the best way to say it is that they casted her against type and went too far to make her fit,” she explained. “It’s not my place to say how Zoe Saldana perceives herself, and I can’t say how anybody else perceives her either.”
Nina Simone’s daughter, Simone Kelly says that she isn’t upset with Zoe Saldana but is upset with the director Cynthia Mort for telling an inaccurate story of her mother. Kelly stated that the family wasn’t consulted for the film.
Honestly because of my age I wasn’t too familiar with the life of Nina Simone. I knew she was a singer but I didn’t realize how significant her legacy was until I recently watched the documentary “What Happened Miss Simone” . I’m interested in watching the movie and I’m also a fan of Zoe Saldana so I will definitely be checking the film out.
“Nina” is scheduled to be released on April 22, 2016.
Check out the trailer below: