As part of plans to mark the 16th annual Felabration a remarkable one, organisers of the week-long event decided to celebrate the life and times of the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti with a new biopic in Fela’s honour titled Finding Fela.
The film, which is the work of Academy award winner, Alex Gibney, known for his gripping, deeply insightful documentaries including ‘Taxi to the Darkside’ and ‘Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.’
In Finding Fela, Gibney is believed to have delivered a straightforward and engrossing biography of legendary Nigerian musician and unrepentant activist, Fela.
The movie, which is billed for cinema release across Nigeria on Friday, October 17 but was first premiered at the New Afrika Shrine on Sunday, October 12 as the part of activities to kick off the 2014 edition of Felabration, billed to run from October 12 to 19.
The documentary opens with a scene from a concert of Fela in Berlin and it tells the story of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s life, his music, his social and political importance and he created a new musical movement, Afrobeat, using that forum to express his revolutionary political opinions against successful dictatorial Nigerian governments of the 1970s and 1980s.
Fela’s influence helped bring a change towards democracy in Nigeria and promoted Pan Africanist politics to the world and the power and potency of Fela’s message remains completely current today and is expressed in the political movements of oppressed people, embracing Fela’s music and message in their struggle for freedom.
Shot in black and white as well as colour formats, the biopic showcases actual footages from Fela’s life and times as well as revealing interviews from family members and cronies including Femi, Yeni and Seun Kuti, Bill T. Jones, Jim Lewis Rikki Stein, Lemi Ghariokwu, Sandra Isodore and Queen Kewe Anikulapo-Kuti to name a few.