MEU AMIGO FELA paints a multi-layered portrait of Nigerian musician Fela Kuti. A pioneer of the Afrobeat genre, he proclaimed the Kalakuta Republic artists commune in Lagos at the height of the military regime in 1970. The film’s title is a reference to Carlos Moore, Fela Kuti’s AfroCuban friend and biographer, who accompanied Brazilian director Joel Zito Araújo on his endeavour to trace the musician’s history. The portrait explores a number of influences on Fela Kuti such as Pan-Africanists Patrice Lumumba and Kwame Nkrumah, but also African American civil rights activists like Angela Davis and Stokely Carmichael whom he met in person during a study trip to the US in 1969. Joel Zito Araújo is one of the leading proponents of BLACK CINEMA in Brazil today. His film RAÇA, about exceptional black characters within racist Brazilian society is available on loan from FilmInitiativ.
In cooperation with Camões – Instituto da Cooperação e da Lingua (Portugal), Portugiesisch-Brasilianisches Institut der Universität zu Köln and Kino Latino Köln