Francis Kertekian/Rikki Stein
Kyle Anderson
August 01, 2014 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Finding Fela

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
runtime
119 minutes
performer
Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti
director
Alex Gibney
genre
Documentary

We gave it a C

Nigerian musician Fela Kuti passed away in 1997 in relative obscurity, but the father of Afrobeat rose in fame posthumously thanks largely to Fela!, a biographical Broadway musical that premiered in 2009. Directed by Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side), Finding Fela alternates between behind-the-scenes stories about Fela!‘s development and a more general talking-head biography of Fela. Neither track goes deep enough to get a complete picture. And the abundance of his funky, inspirational music included in the film becomes numbing — an unfortunate result for such a complicated, passionate pop figure. C

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