Finding Fela tells the story of Fela Anikulapo Kuti's life, his music, his social and political importance. He created a new musical movement, Afrobeat, using that forum to express his revolutionary political opinions against the dictatorial Nigerian government of the 1970s and 1980s.
Sundance Film Festival 2014
Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014
San Sebastian Film Festival 2014
Acclaimed documentarian Alex Gibney’s latest incisive and illuminating feature film Finding Fela is a sweeping portrait of the artist as guerilla warrior. Set to the insistent groove of Nigerian superstar Fela Kuti’s revolutionary Afrobeat sound, the remarkable story of one man’s courageous stand against a corrupt and dictatorial government gives testament to the transformative power of music as a force for social and political change.
Fela’s influence spanned the globe as his soaring music and unstoppable spirit transported audiences in the Americas, Europe and, most importantly, throughout Africa. His defiantly vocal opposition to the military regimes destroying his people made him the voice of the oppressed masses—and a target of brutal government retaliation.
Finding Fela features recently rediscovered archival footage of the legendary musician in performance, in interviews and in unguarded private moments, as well as new interviews with family, colleagues and friends for a glimpse of the audacious and dangerous life of a contradictory iconoclast who defined African political thought for more than two decades.
Simultaneously, the film goes behind the scenes to observe the evolution of “Fela!”—the Broadway musical based on his life and work that was nominated for 11 Tony Awards. As the two parallel tales intertwine and merge, they form a nuanced commentary on the crucial role of art in our global society. Fela’s passion for his music and epic crusade for his country’s future galvanized a generation of Africans and still stand as a compelling example of the transcendent power of creativity. A unique cinematic experience, Finding Fela is a tribute to every artist who has ever dedicated his or her imagination and personal charisma to unify, educate and motivate the world.
Academy Award winner Alex Gibney, known for his gripping, deeply insightful documentaries, is one of the most accomplished nonfiction filmmakers working today. His 2008 film, TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE, received an Oscar for Best Feature-Length Documentary. Alex received another Academy Award nomination in 2006 for ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM.
Director: Alex Gibney
Producers: Jack Gulick and Alex Gibney
Executive Producer: Ruth Hendel
Executive Producer: Stephen Hendel
Co-Producer: Alison Ellwood
Director of Photography: Maryse Alberti
Editor: Lindy Jankura
Composer: Fela Anikulapo-Kuti