Tina Turner says goodbye to the public eye of the HBO documentary ‘Tina’


Tina Turner in Tub. (Photo: HBO)

Tina Turner’s life, marked by both dark tragedy and triumphant success, has been well documented over the years. There was 1981 Persons magazine story that first revealed the terror and abuse she suffered in a long marriage to her musical partner Ike Turner; the 1987 biography Me, tina wrote with MTV journalist Kurt Loder; the 1993 Oscar-nominated biopic based on that book, What does love have to do with it?starring Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne; and the musical jukebox Tub which premiered in 2018 in London’s West End before moving to Broadway.

This weekend’s new HBO documentary TubHowever, it will be the 81-year-old celebrated singer’s last call before she silently escapes from the public eye forever, or at least she plans to do so, judging from her own comments in the final minutes of the poignant and poignant directed project. by film-making duo Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin (Undefeated, LA 92).

In a recent interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Lindsay and Martin admitted that they were “definitely hesitant” to follow those other outlets in telling Turner’s story, but they intended not to make the film a pure exploration of his trauma.

“But in the first conversations with Tina, we realized that trauma is still very much present in her life, it is always bubbling under the surface,” says Martin. “In our first conversations with her, we didn’t have to mention Ike. It came about naturally. And she told us that if she thinks about it too much or has to talk about her past, Ike comes to her in her dreams, or nightmares, really. And it seems like these things were happening yesterday. “

Tub takes what the directors describe, then, as a meta-approach to the violence and struggle that Turner endured in his life. She dives directly into the subject in her opening minutes, and the first half of the film focuses on her 16-year association and marriage to Ike, who died in 2007. As the duo Ike & Tina Turner, woman born Anna Mae Bullock’s Early career is synonymous with her ex, and the 81-year-old describes how she survived the torture in that relationship: the abuse of not just Ike’s hands, but also the shoe stretchers, hangers, and boiling coffee, and sex. which she describes as “some kind of rape.”

“Tina is open and willing to talk about things, she is very aware of the consequences for her personally talking about particular chapters of her life,” says Lindsay. “She is very honest about her own story,” adds Martin. “It’s just that he is doing his best to live a very healthy and peaceful life.”

Tina Turner in 'Tina' (HBO)

Tina Turner in Tub. (Photo: HBO)

The film goes meta when, in its second half, a section is devoted to the frustrations Turner faced while constantly being haunted by personal questions about his past, as evidenced by some very awkward old interview clips, including one in which she is sitting next to it. for Mad Max beyond the thunder dome co-star Mel Gibson. As her husband Erwin Bach puts it, it’s like Turner has been in battle, and PTSD haunts her every day, not to mention memories of a troubled childhood in a Tennessee sharecropper family who also suffered from the scars of domestic violence.

“It was not a good life,” says Turner in the film. “It was in some areas, but the good didn’t outweigh the bad.”

However, the latter half is also largely sublime, as shown by Turner, freed from Ike’s destructive clutches, exploding as a solo artist and exploding to world fame, fulfilling his career-long goal of filling stadiums (as large as 186,000 in Rio) in fascinating concert footage. Seeing Turner rocking around the stage like a force of nature, after 50 years old when the single “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” pushed her into the stratosphere, we remember the rare feat she accomplished in reaching that level of success as a female solo artist at that age and at that stage in her career.

Erwin Bach and Tina Turner in 'Tina' (HBO)

Erwin Bach and Tina Turner in Tub. (Photo: HBO)

The film also finds a happy ending in the relationship with Turner, who long lamented his inability to find love, and the German music executive Bach, whom he met in 1986 and married in 2013. In one of the most heartfelt moments And moving from the film, Turner is recounting the length of their relationship from their castle-shaped home in Zurich, Switzerland, when she checks in with him in real life. “How many years later did we get married?” He yells in the other room. “Twenty-seven,” he responds quickly.

When Turner and Bach are shown returning to New York in 2019 to attend the Broadway musical premiere, Turner is seen to see the trip as an opportunity to “say goodbye to American and American fans.” Bach tells the filmmakers: “This documentary, this play, this is it. It’s closing. “

Such phrases could worry fans of Turner due to his age and health problems throughout the years. She suffered a stroke in 2013, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016, and considered assisted suicide before her husband donated a kidney for transplant surgery in 2017. But “health-wise, the last time we were in contact with her and her husband, she was in a good mood and with a feeling of health, ”says Martin.

Her heralded outings with the musical and now the HBO documentary are more a matter of gracefully stepping out of Tina Turner’s persona and enjoying a quiet private life in retirement.

“From what we understand at the moment, his main intention is to live in his incredible castle in Zurich by the lake,” says Martin. “And do whatever Tina wants to do, whether it’s gardening or decorating the house or just reading a book.”

Tub premieres Saturday, March 27 on HBO.

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