The Tina Turner Movie on HBO Is Upsetting & Important—& You Need to Watch

A brand-new documentary just dropped on HBO and, to put it simply, it's simply the best. But also, it's upsetting, it's heart-breaking and it's a must-watch for anyone who loves Tina Turner as much as I do.

The two-hour film, titled Tina, provides an in-depth look at Turner's life, career, triumphs and heartaches. And it does so in an extremely honest manner.

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According to HBO, "With a wealth of never-before-seen footage, audio tapes, personal photos, and new interviews, including with the singer herself, Tina presents an unvarnished and dynamic account of the life and career of music icon Tina Turner."

And they aren't lying when they say new interviews. We get to hear from Turner, in addition to big name celebs like long-time friend Oprah Winfrey and the actress who portrayed Turner on the big screen, Angela Bassett.

What is revealed through old clips, old interviews and these new interviews is a heart-wrenching portrait of a woman who was abused and tortured by her husband but who overcame these horrors to become one of the most famous names in music history.

Some of the most hard-to-listen-to moments come from Turner herself, as well as her son Craig Turner (who has since passed away). "Everybody was always happy around my mother and she was always sad," Craig says, later revealing that his "mother had a non-existent life other than the studio and the house." He even details a particularly disturbing story about Ike Turner throwing scalding coffee on Tina, giving her third degree burns.

The music icon described the ongoing torture by Ike: "I was insanely afraid of that man." The abuse even led to several suicide attempts by Tina.

However, one point Turner makes—and the documentary attempts to highlight—is that she doesn't want to be defined by Ike, or the horrors he put her through. In addition to these harrowing stories, the film also makes clear just how strong, talented and destined for greatness Turner has always been.

While much of the film is heavy, it is also chock-full of performances by Turner, whose professional history is just as fascinating (and troubled) as her personal one. I highly recommend giving Tina a view, whether you are a Turner stan, a music buff or just a lover of important films. Because Turner's story is an important one—and one I'm not likely to forget soon.


This documentary gets four stars for its honest portrayal of the iconic singer, taking viewers on an emotional, but ultimately satisfying journey.

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VP, News and Entertainment; 'And Just Like That' Podcast Host; Up-And-Coming Bowler

Philip spearheads PureWow's news and entertainment team. He has 10+ years experience working in entertainment coverage and viral media, previously serving as a writer/editor...