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Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Finding Fela tells the story of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s life, his music, his social and political importance. He created a new musical movement, Afrobeat, using that forum to express his revolutionary political opinions against the dictatorial Nigerian government of the 1970s and 1980s. HisFinding Fela tells the story of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s life, his music, his social and political importance. He created a new musical movement, Afrobeat, using that forum to express his revolutionary political opinions against the dictatorial Nigerian government of the 1970s and 1980s. His influence helped bring a change towards democracy in Nigeria and promoted Pan Africanist politics to the world. The power and potency of Fela’s message is completely current today and is expressed in the political movements of oppressed people, embracing Fela’s music and message in their struggle for freedom. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Mary Sollosi
    Jul 24, 2014
    91
    Even after a superbly made two-hour-long documentary, Kuti keeps many of his secrets to himself.
  2. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Sep 9, 2014
    80
    Finding Fela does an exemplary job of explaining, in musical terms, what made Fela standout, a simple enough step that most music documentaries ignore.
  3. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Aug 26, 2014
    75
    Gibney never quite finds Fela, and the quest isn’t always remarkable either, but such is the spirited brio of the seminal subject that some of his dynamic essence still shines through.
  4. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Jul 30, 2014
    63
    Though the filmmaking is not terribly exciting, Fela’s life and music are.
  5. Reviewed by: Jim Farber
    Aug 2, 2014
    60
    There’s nothing like seeing Fela himself — blowing his sax, expressing his unbridled sexuality and living a life like no other.
  6. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jul 29, 2014
    60
    These scenes make you wish the rest of the movie had similar bite, but Gibney tends toward that dutiful doc style that mixes talking heads and archival clips into a flavorless stew—a bland complement to Fela’s zesty on- and offstage presence.
  7. Reviewed by: Geoff Berkshire
    Jul 24, 2014
    50
    While the filmed stage performances are among the pic’s most galvanizing sequences, their inclusion underscores how flat Gibney’s combination of archival footage and talking-head interviews otherwise plays.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. CMC
    Aug 15, 2014
    8
    I found the film enjoyable and informative. It mostly lacks the formulaic talking head interviews and other tired doc format stuff, and thereI found the film enjoyable and informative. It mostly lacks the formulaic talking head interviews and other tired doc format stuff, and there is quite a bit of original footage of Fela, all good. The intercutting to the Broadway show became increasingly annoying and embarrassing, sort of like interposing "The Lion King". Like most docs, this can wait until you get it online. But worth it. Expand

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