Tina Review – Honest, Liberating, Simply The Best

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Tina, from HBOMAX, brings to the screen the fabulous Tina Turner, a hard-working, rocking, reflective and honest survivor, a word which would probably make her cringe as it reflects the ever-present lurking shadow of a past life.

 

Currently, in 2021, Tina Turner is semi-retired living in Switzerland with her husband, Erwin Bach whom she married in 2013, after 27 years together. An idyllic home on a pristine lake filled with memorabilia of her rock star superstardom status, platinum records, awards, and honors.


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Hard won victories, a long road and many miles from the cotton fields where Anna Mae Bullock was born, and this is essentially where the documentary begins and is presented chronologically across seven decades in five parts.

It is the 1950s and Anna Mae and her siblings were deserted by her parents. She moved to St. Louis to live with her family. A 17-year-old, stunner, with a golden voice. One night her path crosses with Ike Turner. One wonder if she had been given a glimpse into the future, a crystal ball which would only show her three points, would she have continued on the same path. But as we see in the documentary, we rarely get those moments.

The story of her life with Ike has been told, retold, and told again as if it were the sum total of her life, being and existence. Ike and Tina Turner review were hit makers, the husband-and-wife duo, created iconic songs like Proud Mary and Come Together.

Ike had personal troubles, on the career front he was repeatedly stolen from, the first rock and roll song in history, Rocket 88, he helped create and he received no credit until much later. Anna Mae was his ticket, and he knew he would have to hold on tight and wear her down mentally to keep her. And of course, with stardom, came the drugs, alcohol, and other forms of sedation and addictions. There is no justification for the abuse and trauma. And whatever demons drove him he could not shake them.


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Spirituality was also on the rise in the 1970s, and a Buddhist chanter crossed their paths. For Tina it was the awakening.

Sixteen years later after a life of abuse, physical beatings, which she explains in the documentary, she had enough. Any person who has lived with abuse and trauma understands it is always an eggshell game, one minute normal, the next violence. She waited until he was asleep, picked up her bag and left.

It was the moment of her rebirth.

As the documentary goes, the struggle to overcome the imposing dark shadow, the elephant in the room so to speak, as it was the 1970s society had not yet evolved to the place where victims could speak freely, and abuse would not be tolerated.

After the divorce she had nothing, except her name. Officially the marital properties, assets in total went to him, and her name, her stage name she retained.

Tina Turner provides glimpses into defining moments of her life. She is well-spoken, warm, and genuine. Even on screen the persona that translates is warm, and at peace.

The first hour of the documentary winds through the early life, the pitfalls that could have devoured her robbing the world of this amazing story, triumph, and talent. The documentary is extremely honest and liberating.


 

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She makes unashamed statements on love, that until she was 50, she had never been loved by anyone in her life not her family, mother, anyone. And she explains it not to say pity me, but as a truth. And others may say, 'but hey, you have superstar status isn't that the trade-off?' 'Or your ideals of love are too high.'

She is candid about the abuse, the years of tolerating, and she never uses any justifications and then it was over. The door closed. She gave the interview, explained it and that was that. Time to move on. Of course, as Tina grew in global stature, that story also fought its way back into the public arena and then there was the movie, the book, the play.

Tina is a sold gold documentary with a fairy tale happy ending. See it.


 

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Country: USA

Language: English

Runtime: 118minutes

Directed by Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin.

Writer: Dan Lindsay, T.J. Martin.

Cast: Tina Turner, Angela Bassett, Oprah Winfrey, journalist Kurt Loder, playwright Katori Hall, Erwin Bach, Roger Davies, Terry Britten, Rhonda Gramm, LeJeune Fletcher, Carl Arrington, Ann Behringer, Jimmy Thomas.

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