Fela Anikulapo Kuti is to African music what Bob Marley is to reggae: its prophet. All contemporary forms of black music (from funk to electronic) owe something to the irresistible groove of which he was the creator: Afrobeat. During his life, Fela never ceased to record: more than 60 albums, all mythical. For most of his career he fought against political corruption in his homeland, Nigeria, and was much loved by his people who called him their "Black President" ...Until 1997, when he died of AIDS at the age of 58.
Directed in 1982 by Stephane Tchai-Gadjieff and Jean-Jacques Flori, Music is the Weapon is the definitive documentary on FELA. An essential film for all who wish to know more about an artist at the heart of African musical history. Shot in Lagos, this documentary carries us from the 'Kalakuta Republic' to the mythical 'Shrine' nightclub. At the height of his popularity in a chaotic Nigeria, Fela wanted to stand for president. The Army responded by attacking and ransacking his community, raping his wives and throwing his mother from a window, who was later to die from her injuries. Coming from yet another time in prison, more determined than ever and surrounded by his wives, Fela transmits to the camera his thoughts on politics, Pan-Africanism, music and religion.