Tina is the ultimate celebration of the iconic rock ‘n’ roll superstar (Picture: Altitude Film Entertainment/Sky)
Tina Turner’s story is one that has been told many times before, in various iconic iterations. But with Tina, the world finally learns what it has meant for the singer to carry the burden of being one of the world’s most famous domestic abuse survivors.
With Oscar-winning directors Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin at the helm, the immersive watch spans five decades, charting the legendary singer’s story in five parts.
Understandably, the first half is focused on the deep pain and adversity the singer conquered in order to find success in her career path.
Born Anna Mae Bullock and raised in Nutbush, Tennessee, Turner recalls being abandoned by both her parents, whose own marriage was extremely volatile.
Her unhappy childhood was followed by a chance meeting with Ike, which the Proud Mary singer is still yet to decide on whether it was a good thing or not.
Without Ike deciding to push for her to become a singer, the world might never have had the pleasure of watching one of the greatest music performers that’s ever lived.
Viewers are given an intimate look at how Tina overcame extreme adversity to define her career and her identity on her own terms (Picture: HBO/AP)
However, it can’t be ignored that not crossing paths with Ike could have saved the star from years of suffering. The film features newly filmed footage of the Private Dancer singer – conducted at her home in Switzerland in 2019 – in which she reveals how Ike would abuse her right before their performances, while unseen pictures reveal some of the visible damage he had caused at the time.
Thanks to the old clips and images from the time, viewers get a better understanding of how much Turner was unable to truly enjoy her rising stardom at the time, her pain all but seeping out through each scene.
As previous recordings see the Help singer chronicle her failed suicide attempt, and her eventual break for freedom in 1976, viewers can be forgiven for thinking that all things Ike will be left behind as we move on to the next chapter.
There lies the distinction between Tina and other creations about the star’s life. The directors cover the violence in her life as respectfully as possible, but they also show how frustrating it’s been for the It’s Only Love singer that she was never truly allowed to move on with her life.
The tribute highlights how Tina was never allowed to truly escape the abuse she suffered during her time with Ike Turner (Picture: Peter Mazel/ Sunshine/ Rex/ Shutterstock)
After her divorce from Ike, he still lingered around like a bad smell thanks to countless interview questions about him while she was trying to move forward.
Viewers are reminded that all she got to keep from their split was the name he gave her, Tina Turner. She vowed to make something of that name without him, but understandably, it meant the world still had her tied to him in their minds.
As follows the years after her divorce and Tinda did everything it took to try and get out of debt and achieve her dream of being a rock star that sold out stadiums. Yet, just as she thought she was making progress, a question about Ike was come from nowhere. One previously unseen clip shows the star break out into a sweat and basically have a panic attack after he is unexpectedly brought up in an interview.
Turner reinvented herself as a solo act but the fevered interest in her experience as a domestic abuse survivor haunted the rest of her career.
The documentary film is an inspirational record of one of the greatest survivors in modern music (Picture: Altitude Film Entertainment / Sky)
The movie has two clear goals that it perfectly achieves: to show respect and appreciation for one of the most electrifying performers of the 20th century and to highlight how unjust it is that so much of her story is often overshadowed by her time with Ike.
The second half focuses much on the inspiring way Turner fought for personal and creative autonomy in an industry that has never been kind to women, ethnic minorities and those who don’t fit in the mold.
Turner herself explains why she doesn’t see the eventual success of her album Private Dancer as a ‘comeback hit’, stating: ‘Tina had never arrived. It was time for Tina’s debut for the first time. This was my first album’.
An album that the label didn’t want to support, that was boosted by interest in Europe – which helps it to overcome the racially biased rules of the US charts, and helps the world to understand that we were in the presence of a true rock ‘n’ roll legend.
The sweetest part of the documentary comes in the form of Turner recounting her love story with Erwin, the first man she ever truly loved. Watching the star’s face light up when she talks about him is all the more poignant after seeing the complete lack of joy in her earlier relationships.
Directed by Oscar-winning directors Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin, the film features new interview footage with the icon herself (Picture: Backgrid)
The film is a stark reminder that fame does little to protect from abusers, while also asking us to consider the fact success also doesn’t provide instant healing from the long-term effects that survivors are left to deal with.
The documentary feature doesn’t tell the full story of Tina Turner’s career – one would need a 10-part series to even try and cover everything there is to know about the star. However, this film is a project that finally brings some close the chapter on the hitmaker’s tumultuous past.
Having retired in 2009, Tina has already tried to say goodbye to the showbiz world. Now, this captivating recap of her illustrious career can serve as her final farewell to the trappings she’s happily left behind.
More importantly, it highlights the star’s inspirational ability to fight for her dreams – no matter what the world tries to say you can or can’t do. A quality that can sometimes get forgotten when her story is being told.
Dan Lindsay and T. J. Martin help fans to understand why the greatest gift we could give Tina is the chance to finally be free from the shackles of her traumatic past, so she can bask in her peaceful present. It’s the least she deserves.
TINA airs tonight on Sky Documentaries and NOW while it will be available on other formats at altitude.film in the UK. It is available to stream on HBO Max in the US.