My Friend Fela provides a new perspective on the Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, in order to counter the most often portrayed narrative of Fela “as an eccentric African pop idol of the ghetto”, according to director Joel Zito Araújo. The complexity of Fela’s life is unravelled through the eyes and conversations of his close friend and official biographer, the African-Cuban Carlos Moore.

As the documentary unfolds, it reveals the many influences and forces that shaped Fela’s extraordinary life: from the relationship he had with his mother to his many and problematic relationships with women, from his ties with his spiritual advisor Professor Hindu to his mutually influential encounters with African Americans. By placing Fela’s personal history in a pan-African context, the film becomes not only a portrait of one man but also of a pan-African generation.

Original title
Meu amigo Fela
Filmmaker
Joel Zito Araújo
Premiere
World premiere
Country
Brazil
Year
2019
Medium
DCP
Length
94’
Language
English, French
Producer
Joel Zito Araújo, Luiza Botelho Almeida
Production Company
Casa de Criação Cinema e Artes
Sales
O2 Play
Writer
Joel Zito Araújo
Cinematography
Cleumo Segond
Editor
Isabel Mattos Castro
Sound Design
Waldir Xavier