Meu amigo Fela (My Friend Fela) Film
Joel Zito Araújo | Brazil 2019 | English and French with English subtitles | 1h34m | 15
My Friend Fela provides a new perspective on the Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, countering the most often portrayed narrative of Fela “as an eccentric African pop idol of the ghetto”, according to director Joel Zito Araújo. The complexity of Fela’s life is unravelled through the eyes and conversations with his close friend and official biographer, the Afro-Cuban Carlos Moore.
As the documentary unfolds, it reveals the many influences and forces that shaped Fela’s extraordinary life: from the relationship he had with his mother to his many and problematic relationships with women, from his ties with his spiritual advisor Professor Hindu to his mutually influential encounters with African Americans. By placing Fela’s personal history in a pan-African context, the film becomes not only a portrait of one man but also of a pan-African generation.