After Blood Brother, Fela Kuti’s Musical Weapons At The Sundance Festival
Author: M. G.
Tuesday 21st of January 2014 12:13:39 PM

The Sundance Film Festival -the most important festival for independent movies and documentaries- started last week and it's going on until this Sunday.

One of the winners of the last edition was the documentary 'Blood Brother' by Steve Hoover. The movie is about the adventure of Rocky Braat - a friend of the director - who decided to leave his average American life, job and friend to go to India, without any plans. He ended up in working in an orphanage for HIV+ children. This meeting clearly changed Rocky's mind -and eventually his life.

Last Friday the festival premiered another documentary we should keep an eye on: ‘Finding Fela', a project about Fela Kuti, Nigerian musician and composer, the pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre and, more importantly in my opinion, human rights activist. Fela was a highly contradictory person, for instance he died in 1997 from complications due to HIV but he never spoke out publicly about his health condition. Nevertheless, "No individual better embodies African music of the 1970s and '80s-and its pivotal role in postcolonial political activism [...] After quickly taking his native Nigeria by storm, the pioneering musician's confrontational Afrobeat sound soon spread throughout the continent and beyond, even as it made determined enemies of the repressive Nigerian military regime". His song ‘Zombie', a sarcastic reference to the soldiers of the Nigerian Regime, was prohibited on the national radio. The movie repeatedly reports Fela's slogan ‘Music is the Weapon' to show how regimes can be scared just by the simple yet contagious power of art. Fela! is also a Broadway musical produced by Jay Z and presented by Will Smith that already had a big success. Let's see what happens with ‘Finding Fela' - DAA usually brings good luck!

 

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