[Videolib] Fela Kuti: A Hit on Broadway and Available from Alive Mind Education

From: Elizabeth Sheldon <elizabeth@lorberhtdigital.com>
Date: Thu Dec 17 2009 - 14:03:02 PST

Dear Listserv Colleagues,

The following article appeared today in the New York Times regarding
the hit Broadway show, Fela! The essay raises provocative questions
about the role of Fela's 27 wives, represented by 9 dancers on stage,
and his political struggle against corruption in 1970's Nigeria. Alive
Mind Education is exclusively offering this classic film with PPR. You
can read the New York Times' article below and learn more about the
film or purchase at:


This film is ideal for African Studies, Music & Ethnology and Gender

Finding Depth in Fela’s Women
By Felia R. Lee

This is the short list of how the women of “Fela!,” the Broadway
musical about the Nigerian Afrobeat musician and political agitator,
do not see their characters: victims, go-go dancers, sex objects. The
nine women in tight outfits, elaborate hairdos and painted faces
represent the 27 real-life co-wives of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, who
married them collectively in what he considered a personal and
political gesture as he fought against Nigeria’s corrupt authoritarian
regime and defended traditional African culture.

The women have no individual lines; their characters aren’t even named
onstage. In any other show they would be considered part of the
chorus. Yet they maintain a constant, magnetic stage presence, dancing
and singing at Fela’s nightclub, the Shrine, in the Lagos of the late
’70s. While their stories are not told, their characters have been
thoroughly studied and embodied by the performers, who see them as an
integral part of the complex and contradictory tale of the man who
inspired the musical.

Read the article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/17/theater/17fela.html?_r=1&8dpc

About the Film

Fela Kuti is to African music what Bob Marley is to reggae: its
prophet. All contemporary forms of black music, from funk to
electronic, owe something to the irresistible groove of the Afrobeat
sound that he created. He recorded more than 60 albums and spent a
lifetime fighting against political corruption in his homeland of
Nigeria, where the people affectionately called him their “Black

Shot in Lagos at the peak of his career in 1982, this documentary
contains interviews with Fela detailing his thoughts on politics, Pan-
Africanism, music and religion, alongside unpublished versions of
songs like ITT, Army Arrangement and Power Show. For all who wish to
know more about an artist at the heart of African musical history,
Fela Kuti: Music is the Weapon is an essential film.

“…far more than a glimpse at Fela Kuti playing live.”

  Product Information

Grade Level: College and University
Subjects: Arts, Music, African Studies
Copyright: © 1985 Francis Kertekian
Set: DVD Only
Total Running Time: 53 minutes with bonus footage
PPR: $129
Without PPR for public libraries: $29.98

Terms of Use
Public performance rights allow educational and non profit groups to
exhibit our films to groups of 50 or fewer individuals where admission
is not charged. The term of the public performance license is for the
life of the DVD. However, if you intend to screen it to an admission
paying audience of over 50 and to publicly advertise it, then we ask
that you contact us regarding an exhibition fee.



Elizabeth Sheldon
Vice President
Alive Mind Education
333 West 39th St., Suite 503
New York, NY 10018
(212) 629-6880 tele


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Received on Thu Dec 17 14:04:09 2009

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