In excavating the life of Tina Turner, “Tina” co-directors Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin found that there is always more story to tell in their HBO Original documentary.
“Tina’s first words to us and looking right at us was, ‘There’s a book, there’s a movie, now there’s a musical. What the hell are you going to make a documentary about?,'” Lindsay revealed in Variety‘s latest episode of “Doc Dreams,” presented by National Geographic.
Over the course of two and a half years, Lindsay and Martin funneled 2,500 hours of archival material and about 10 interviews to create an intimate portrait of the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll. At first, the duo was unsure if they, as men, were the right conduits to tell Turner’s life story and so they worked to ensure the film was relayed through Turner’s own voice.
“I had an abusive life. There’s no other way to tell the story,” Turner says during one of the documentary’s interviews. This frame of reference sets up the unfolding of “Tina” and serves as an entry point into understanding how abuse threaded through her relationships, but how it dictated her star image to the public and press. One captivating segment of the film captures the overwhelming and traumatizing nature of Turner having to discuss her abuser over and over again.
“The notion of her being a heroine and put on a pedestal as someone who is just resilient to everything kind of calcified, and as a result, it dehumanized her I think in many ways,” Martin said.
“Just talking about that time of her life can bring back the memories of that time to her, oftentimes, in dreams that feel as real as the first time it was happening,” Lindsay added.
Ultimately, “Tina” is the triumphant tale of one of music’s greatest icons.
“As filmmakers, we want to make films that are experiential and that feel cinematic and big. Tina’s story is unique in that way,” Lindsay said.
“Tina” is currently available on HBO and HBO Max.
More From Our Brands