Fela Kuti: Music Is the Weapon


Backed by a rather extensive reissuing of his music catalog in the past few years, Fela’s popularity as the creator of Afro-beat continues to grow. However, what’s sometimes lost on the uninformed ear is the poignant message behind Fela’s hypnotic din. With the release of this largely biographical DVD, Fela’s life as a political prisoner and rebel to the establishment finds renewed momentum. Filmed in 1982, Music Is the Weapon moves through the streets of Lagos, stopping off at the Kalakuta Republic, Fela’s compound; and the Shrine, his nightclub. Especially powerful is the series of photographs, taken during the time of filming, that bears witness to a brutal, unwarranted attack on Fela and his family by a despotic Nigerian government. Gut-wrenching. Essential viewing for any Fela fan.