10.06. Thursday

18:30 Trueba cinemas 1

My friend Fela

Joel Zito Araujo / Brazil (2019 - 94’ - VOSE)

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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.

Data sheet

  • Director: Joel Zito Araujo
  • Year: 2019
  • Country: Brazil
  • Length: 94 min.
  • Original language: English, French
  • Leadings: Fela Kuti, Carlos Moore
  • Camera: Cleumo Segond
  • Editor: Isabel Mattos Castro
  • Producers: Joel Zito Araújo, Luiza Botelho Almeida
  • Film company: Casa de Criaçao Cinema e Artes

Joel Zito Araujo

Joel Zito Araujo

Joel Zito Araújo has produced 29 award-winning documentaries, features and narrative shorts raising awareness to social issues in Brazil, particularly the nation’s Afro-Brazilian population. Among his impressive body of work, the highlights are his documentary “Denying Brazil” about the participation of black actors in Brazilian telenovelas, won Best Documentary at the It’s All True International Documentary Film Festival; his feature-length fiction film “Daughets of the Wind”, which brought together the largest black cast in the history of Brazilian cinema and won eight awards at the prestigious Gramado Film Festival; his documentary “Cinderellas, Wolves, and One Enchanted Prince” about sexual tourism and exploitation in Brazil, reached 3rd place in ratings at the Premium cable cannel GNT, with over 1.5 million viewers; and the documentary “Raça” a portrait of the racial debate in contemporary Brazil, co-directed with the Oscar winner filmmaker Megan Mylan, premiered in Brazil as Hors Concours at the Rio de Janerio International Film Festival and was screened at 35 Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano.