11/22/2019 05:30 pm – Caligari FilmBühne

Brazil 2019 94 min English and French original version with German and English subtitles
German premiere

by Joel Zito Araújo

Script: Joel Zito Araújo, DoP: Cleumo Segond, Editor: Isabel Mattos Castro, Music: Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Producers: Joel Zito Araújo, Luiza Botelho Almeida, Production: Casa de Criação Cinema e Artes, with: Carlos Moore and many others

MY FRIEND FELA provides a new perspective on the Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, in order to counter the most often portrayed narrative of Kuti “as an eccentric African pop idol of the ghetto”. The complexity of Kuti’s life is unravelled through the eyes and conversations of his close friend and official biographer, the African-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.

Joel Zito Araújo has produced 29 award-winning documentaries, features and narrative shorts raising awareness to social issues in Brazil, particularly the nation’s Afro-Brazilian population. Among his impressive body of work, the highlights are his documentary DENYING BRAZIL (2001) about the participation of black actors in Brazilian telenovelas, his feature-length fiction film DAUGHTERS OF THE WIND (2004), which brought together the largest black cast in the history of Brazilian cinema and won eight awards at the prestigious Gramado Film Festival; his documentary CINDERELLAS, WOLVES, AND ONE ENCHANTED PRINCE (2008) about sexual tourism in Brazil, the documentary RAÇA (2012) a portrait of the racial debate in contemporary Brazil, co-directed with Oscar winner Megan Mylan, was screened at 35 festivals.

Wide Management
Matthias Angoulvant

Short before