Film

m u s i c : FINDING FELA Soundtrack & Documentary

July 8, 2014

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Every home should own music from Fela. So here it is Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Music by Fela Kuti & Africa 70/ Nigeria 70/ Egypt 80, Koola Lobitos and the Fela! Band (from the musical) with special guest Femi Kuti Out 1 September 2014 (view trailer HERE).

Dogwoof presents
FINDING FELA
A film by Alex Gibney
In UK cinemas 5 September 2014
Plus special preview screening 4 September at the BFI London (part of African Odysseys season)
Academy Award® winning director Alex Gibney returns to UK screens this autumn with ‘Finding Fela’, an utterly compelling and hypnotic portrait of visionary Nigerian musician and social activist, Fela Kuti. ‘Finding Fela’ is the story of the man who created the musical movement Afrobeat, and who then went on to use it as a form of political protest against the Nigerian dictatorship, becoming a revolutionary, hero and legend.
Capturing the essence of the documentary film from a musical perspective is the ‘Finding Fela’ soundtrack.  The double album includes 15 of Fela’s classic tracks, together with an interpretation of “Zombie” from the Fela! Broadway musical, and a never-before released, magical live version of “Colonial Mentality”, recorded at the New Afrika Shrine in Lagos by the cast of the musical and featuring Fela’s son Femi Kuti on saxophone.
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It was in 2011 when the hit Broadway musical Fela!, directed by Bill T Jones, made its way to Lagos. It would become the first Broadway musical ever to perform in Nigeria. The show’s instigator and main producer, Stephen Hendel, wanting to document this historic journey, approached Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi To The Dark Side, Enron, The Smartest Guys In The Room, The Armstrong Lie, etc.) who agreed to come on board as director. A film crew from Los Angeles, led by producer Jack Gulick, accompanied the eighty-strong group of cast and technicians to Lagos where a local film crew were also engaged.  Hundreds of hours of footage were shot of the preparations, the opening at the Kuti family’s New Afrika Shrine, and at the capacious Eko Exhibition Hall where the full production was to receive a triumphant reception.
However, it soon became clear that, fascinating as documenting this ground-breaking journey may be, the story could not be told without also examining the life, times and bravado of its central character, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. So began the making of ‘Finding Fela’ which explores both his extraordinary courage in the face of implacable opposition, and his exceptional musicianship, told through the eyes of musicians, friends and family members and those that knew and admired him, from near and far.  The result is ‘Finding Fela’, the definitive documentary depicting his life and legacy.
Fela created a new musical movement, Afrobeat, using that forum to express his revolutionary political opinions against the dictatorial Nigerian government of the 1970s and 1980s. His influence helped bring a change towards democracy in Nigeria and promoted Pan-Africanist politics to the world.  The power and potency of Fela’s message is completely current today and is expressed in the political movements of oppressed people, embracing Fela’s music and message in their struggle for freedom.
To tell the story of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the son of a middle-class, well-educated Nigerian family who transformed into musical icon and “spiritual guru”, a man who lived in a sprawling compound and married 27 women in a mass wedding, director Alex Gibney cuts in interviews with family, friends and bandmates; with incredible footage culled from 1,200 hours of film; and then weaves in scenes from the Broadway production of Fela! during its run in Lagos. The result is a colourful and breathtaking film that comprehensively reveals the life of a man, who was both a musical genius and political activist but also unpredictable, explosive and above all enigmatic.
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‘Finding Fela’, which made the Official Selection at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, will be in cinemas in the UK from 5 September. The official soundtrack album will be released on 1 September.
‘Finding Fela’ Track-listing:
CD 1
1: Fela Kuti & Nigeria 70 – Jeun Ko Ku (Chop ‘n Quench)
2: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Opposite People (edit)
3: Koola Lobitos – Highlife Time
4: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Lover
5: Fela Kuti & Nigeria 70 – Viva Nigeria
6: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Upside Down (edit)
7: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Egbe Mi O (Carry Me)
8: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Johnny Just Drop (edit)
9: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Vip Pt 2 (Live In Berlin)
CD 2
10: Fela Kuti & Egypt 80 – Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense (edit)
11: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Go Slow (edit)
12: The Fela! Band – Zombie
13: Fela Kuti & Egypt 80 – Power Show (edit)
14: Fela Kuti & Egypt 80 – Beasts Of No Nation (Edit)
15: Fela Kuti & Africa 70 – Shuffering And Shmiling (edit)
16: The Fela! Band With Femi Kuti – Colonial Mentality (Live At The New Afrika Shrine)
Links:
Fela Kuti
Twitter: @felakuti
Finding Fela
Twitter: @FindingFela #FindingFela
Instagram: FindingFela
Knitting Factory Records
Twitter: @knitrecords

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