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.
- Directed by: Joel Zito Araujo
- Producers: Ariel de Bigualt (France), Fidelis Duker (Nigeria), Temitope Duker (Nigeria), Luiza Botelho Almeida (USA)
- Executive producers: Joel Zito Araujo, Luiza Botelho Almeida
- Director of photography: Cleumo Segond
- Production company: Casa de Criação Cinema e Artes
- Music: Fela Anikulapo Kuti
- Editor: Isabel de Castro
- Rotterdam International Film Festival (IFFR)
- Burkina Faso Pan African Festival (Fespaco) - Competitive Track