FILMFORUM IM MUSEUM LUDWIG
‘From the colorful, celebratory sounds of Juju music to the politicized urgency of Afrobeat, Nigerian musicians have spearheaded some of Africa’s most prominent musical movements. So what happened to these pioneering artists who rose to prominence during the country’s halcyon years – and continued to endure when it faltered?’ (www.elderscornermovie.com)
ELDER’S CORNER recalls the now largely forgotten greats of Nigerian music and their popular songs, which were re-recorded for the film by the band BANTU. The musicians’ personal stories also paint a picture of Nigeria’s history in the latter half of the 20th century.
ELDER’S CORNER Direction: Siji Awoyinka, Ade Bantu, OF m. engl. UT, 83 min.
Siji Awoyinka is a multidisciplinary aural and visual storyteller. Born in the UK to Nigerian parents, he spent much of his early childhood in Lagos and London before coming to the US to further pursue his musical ambitions. His music fuses elements of Soul, Jazz, Highlife, Afrobeat and Gospel music with traditional Yoruba rhythms drawn from his rich ancestral background.
His critically acclaimed musical works, among them; God-given (BBE 2004), AdeSIJI (IVY 2008) and Home Grown (IVY 2014), have found appreciative audiences worldwide and continue to garner praise. Additionally, he has contributed songwriting and production talent to projects for the likes of Salif Keita, Cesaria Evora, Osunlade and Wunmi. In a bid to further broaden his creative vision, Siji took to directing and producing video’s and documentaries to help bring his musical compositions to life and to share part of his cultural history with a wider audience.
His bold and visually arresting videos; Yearning For Home, Morenike, Ijo, Lagos Lullabye, have appeared on a number of major networks including MTV, BBC, VH1, BET and many others. His award-winning documentary feature, ‘Elder’s Corner’(2020), premiered at Sheffield Docs, UK, DOC NYC (US Premiere), Blackstar Film Festival as well as the Trinidad & Tobago International Film Festival. It also won an Ethnomusicology Commendation award at the prestigious RAI Film Festival, 2021.
Ade Bantu is co-founder of the anti-racist music initiative ‘Brothers Keepers’ and the subject of Sven Halfar’s documentary film YES I AM!. As one of the best known musicians in Cologne’s African communities, he collaborated with FilmInitiativ to organise a week of solidarity in 1996, in memory of writer Ken Saro-Wiwa who was murdered by the Nigerian military regime. At the Out of Europe X festival in 2008, he contributed to a brilliant ‘Felabration’ concert as a tribute to legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti. He has been mainly based in Lagos for the last decade, which he discusses in his 2011 documentary MY MUSIC, MY HOOD. He and his band BANTU have produced several successful CDs, as well as re-recording songs with the legendary old masters of Nigerian music, who are portrayed in the film ELDER’S CORNER.