Winner Canadian Music Week Film Fest 2014 Best Film Award. See more »
Searching for Fela and finding a mess
For something that seems thrown together, this is an enjoyable documentary. The musical segments alone are worth the price of admission, and the developing sense of Fela's place in the canon of world pop singers is a great bonus.
Along with snippets of actual performances, there's a lot of footage of interviews with a dozen people close to him, including family and band members, and a few brief interviews with Fela himself. The interviews are well chosen and often moving.
But the fun is lessened by a few flaws.
Many of the most colorful parts of the film were filmed in the 1980's and 1990's in low resolution, so the images are very fuzzy. Still, these scenes are among the most memorable, and they may well have been the best that were available.
Fela's performances excited his fans, but the documentary offers only a partial, poorly organized account of his growth into a superstar. Each individual segment is informative enough, but the sequencing of segments film seems haphazard with little coherence or concern for building on what came before.
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