Fela Kuti: Music is the Weapon
Stéphane Tchalgadjieff & Jean Jacques Flori / FR / 1982 / 53'
About Fela, the "black president" and creator of Afrobeat.
Multi-instrumentalist and singer Fela Anikulapo Kuti is to African music what Bob Marley was to reggae: a prophet. All contemporary forms of black music are indebted to the irresistible groove of which he is the creator: Afro beat, a characteristic blend of the traditional Yoruba percussion and African highlife with jazz, hard funk, psychedelic rock and soul. He recorded more than sixty albums and fought a lifetime against political corruption in his native Nigeria, where the people affectionately called him the "Black President", until in 1997, he died of AIDS at the age of 58, leaving 27 wives behind.
The film was shot in 1982 in Lagos at the peak of his career. Expect interviews with Fela, where he discusses politics, Pan Africanism, music and religion, besides energetic and hypnotic performances in his nightclub The Shrine with some unique live versions of mythical tracks like “ITT”, “Army Arrangement”, “Authority Stealing” and “Power Show”.
© Rikki Stein