“Fela Kuti Music is the Weapon” is a fascinating documentary about the Afrobeat legend, musician, composer, performer and occasional politician. The film mixes footage of Fela Anikulapo Kuti performing at his Shrine nightclub, interviews with the controversial musician, glimpses of life at his not-so-palatial Kalakuta Republic compound, and scenes of Lagos street life. Some voice-over narration gives basic information on Kuti’s musical career and Nigerian politics, but for the most part, the images are left to speak for themselves. Shot in color, it’s an important historical document capturing Kuti in stage and home environments that were most crucial to his life and work.
“Music is a weapon of the future / music is the weapon of the progressives / music is the weapon of the givers of life” Fela Kuti
It’s been a grind for the legendary director, but the success shows that staying nimble on your messaging feet and staying in the game every day can lead to success. Lee hasn’t even had to divulge that much more information about the film itself, although casting notes and promo images have illuminated some of his vision without divulging any surprises.