Finding Fela tells the story of Fela Kuti’s life (1938 – 1997), his music, and his social and political importance. This in-depth look at the man who created Afrobeat (a fusion of Jazz, traditional West African rhythms, Funk, Highlife, and psychedelic rock) brings audiences close to Mr. Kuti’s fight against the dictatorial Nigerian government of the 1970s and 80s. With his audacious music and a great deal of courage, Fela Kuti helped bring a change towards democracy in Nigeria, promoted Pan Africanist politics to the entire world and became an inspiration in the global fight for the rights of all oppressed people.

Taking audiences through a multi-threaded journey into the power of art to effect political and personal change, Finding Fela also reveals the creative process behind the Broadway musical Fela!, directed and co-conceived by acclaimed choreographer Bill T. Jones.

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As a committed critic of the legacies of European cultural imperialism, Mr. Kuti became a major political force in Nigerian and African politics – even becoming a Presidential candidate (twice) in the 1980s. His socialist political views and truly subversive life style also lead to a criminal, government-sanctioned attack on his commune in 1977, which lead to his arrest and the death of his 82-year-old mother. Mr. Kuti was eventually released, but his mother’s death shaped the rest of his life.

“I’m very proud of Finding Fela and am delighted that the film will have a robust theatrical release in North America, so that audiences can experience the story and the power of this extraordinary performer and fighter for social justice,” said director Alex Gibney. “As Fela has said, in fighting for a better possibility, ‘music is the weapon.’

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Finding Fela also features never-before-seen footage of his major concerts and even of Fela’s funeral. Exclusive talking-head interviews with Femi Kuti (Fela’s eldest son), Yeni Kuti (Fela’s first child), Seun Kuti (Fela’s youngest son), Sandra Izsadore (former Black Panther party member), as well as musicians Questlove and Paul McCartney, form what’s bound to be the most inspirational and high-energy documentary of the summer.


Finding Fela screenings:

6/27 – Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival – Chilmark, MA
7/11 – Railroad Square Cinema – Waterville, ME
8/1-7 – IFC Center – New York, NY
8/8-14 – Landmark Chez Artiste – Denver, CO
8/8-14 – Landmark E Street Cinema – Washington, DC
8/8-10 & 8/15-17 – Martha’s Vineyard Film Society – Vineyard Haven
8/8-8/14 – The Screen – Santa Fe, NM
8/15-21 – Landmark Shattuck Cinemas – Berkeley, CA
8/15-21 – Landmark Nuart Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
8/15-21 – Landmark Ken Cinema – San Diego, CA
8/15-21 – Landmark Opera Plaza Cinema – San Francisco, CA
8/15-21 – Landmark Midtown Art Cinema – Atlanta, GA
8/15-21 – Landmark Kendall Square Cinema – Boston, MA
8/15-21 – Landmark Ritz at the Bourse – Philadelphia, PA
8/15-21 – Belcourt Theatre – Nashville, TN
8/22-28 – Landmark Lagoon Cinema – Minneapolis, MN
8/22-25 – Guild Cinema – Albuquerque, NM
8/22-28 – Gateway Film Center – Columbus, OH
8/29-30 – Oklahoma City Museum of Art – Oklahoma City, OK
8/29-9/4 – Museum of Fine Arts – Houston, TX
8/29-9/4 – Landmark Varsity Theatre – Seattle, WA
9/19 – POP Montreal – Montreal, QC
10/23 – Memphis Brooks Museum of Art – Memphis, TN




“A must-see for fans of the artist and political firebrand. The soundtrack alone is worth the price of a ticket.” – Rolling Stone

Knitting Factory Records is pleased to announce the upcoming release of the official soundtrack to Finding Fela, the Alex Gibney-directed documentary detailing Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti‘s life.

The soundtrack, due July 29, 2014 via Knitting Factory Records, includes 17 of Fela’s classic tracks. A live version of Fela Kuti’s song “Colonial Mentality,” which is featured in the documentary and on the soundtrack, is now available to stream and embed HERE. This never-before released version of the song was recorded at the New Afrika Shrine in Fela’s hometown of Lagos and features The FELA! Band from the Broadway musical, as well as Fela’s son Femi Kuti on the saxophone. Additionally, thetheatrical trailer for the documentary is available to stream and embed HERE. The full list of Finding Fela screenings and the tracklist for the soundtrack can be found below.

Finding Fela tracklist:

1. Jeun Ko Ku (Chop ‘n Quench)
2. Opposite People (edit)
3. Highlife Time
4. Lover
5. Viva Nigeria
6. Upside Down (edit)
7. Egbe Mi O (Carry Me I Want To Die)
8. Johnny Just Drop (edit)
9. VIP (Part 2 Live In Berlin)
10. Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense (edit)
11. Go Slow (edit)
12. Zombie
13. Power Show (edit)
14. Beasts of No Nation (edit)
15. Shuffering and Shmiling (edit)
16. Colonial Mentality (Live at the New Afrika Shrine)

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