Guest Contributor | Feb 15, 2019 | 0
Local premiere of Finding Fela
Finding Fela tells the story of Fela Kuti’s life (1938 – 1997), his music, and his social and political importance. This in-depth look at the man who created Afrobeat (a fusion of Jazz, traditional West African rhythms, Funk, Highlife, and psychedelic rock) brings audiences close to Kuti’s fight against the dictatorial Nigerian government of the 1970s and 1980s. With his audacious music and a great deal of courage, Fela Kuti helped bring a change towards democracy in Nigeria, promoted Pan Africanist politics to the entire world and became an inspiration in the global fight for the rights of all oppressed people. Acclaimed documentary filmaker Alex Gibney’s incisive and illuminating feature film on Kuti’s life is a sweeping portrait of the artist as guerilla warrior. Set to the insistent groove of this Nigerian superstar’s revolutionary Afrobeat sound, the remarkable story of one man’s courageous stand against a corrupt and dictatorial government gives testament to the transformative power of music as a force for social and political change.
Fela’s influence spanned the globe as his soaring music and unstoppable spirit transported audiences in the Americas, Europe and, most importantly, throughout Africa. His defiantly vocal opposition to the military regimes destroying his people made him the voice of the oppressed masses—and a target of brutal government retaliation. Finding Fela also includes recently rediscovered archival footage of the legendary musician in performance, in interviews and in unguarded private moments, as well as new interviews with family, colleagues and friends for a glimpse of the audacious and dangerous life of a contradictory iconoclast who defined West African political thought for more than two decades. Simultaneously, the film goes behind the scenes to observe the evolution of “Fela!”—the Broadway musical based on his life and work that was nominated for 11 Tony Awards. As the two parallel tales intertwine and merge, they form a nuanced commentary on the crucial role of art in the global society. African Perspectives, a monthly African Cinema series screened in Windhoek, is organised by AfricAvenir and supported by AfriCine, JacMat, the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre, Goethe-Centre/Nads, and Turipamwe Designs.
On Saturday, 28 February, AfricAvenir presents the Namibian premiere of “Finding Fela” at the Goethe Centre in Windhoek. Screening starts at 19:00. Entrance N$40. Please come early. Seats are limited. Suzy Eises, Namibian saxophone player (Jazz/Funk/Soul) will entertain the guests before the screening starts.