Mama Africa

    • Mika Kaurismäki
    • Finland, Germany, South Africa
    • 2010
    • 90 min
    • Dutch Premiere
    • IDFA Competition for Music Documentary
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    This biopic is an homage to the South African Miriam Makeba, who not only became one of the most acclaimed singers of her time, but was also an outspoken advocate of a free South Africa. She was exiled in 1959 for 30 years, during which she never ceased to emphasize that her fellow countrymen were "living in a prison." Not long after his release, Nelson Mandela called Makeba and asked her to come home. Makeba learned to live in the spotlight and rarely dodged a question on camera. "I don't talk politics, I tell the truth." Makeba's private life was equally turbulent. She got married five times and her only daughter died at a young age. She lost her country, her daughter, and often love, but the relationship with her two grandchildren remained close. They talk about the past with their grandmother and accompany her to Guinea, where Makeba lived for many years. This documentary is jam-packed with remarkable archive footage and interviews with many renowned people, and Makeba's performances serve as peaceful pauses. When Makeba - nicknamed Mama Africa - raises her voice, there is nothing but that unforgettable music.


    • 90 min
    • color / black and white
    • video
    • Spoken languages: English, French
    Mika Kaurismäki
    Rainer Kölmel for Starhaus Filmproduktion
    Marianna Films, Millennium Film Oy
    Jacques Cheuiche, Wolfgang Held, Frank Lehman, Martina Radwan, Eran Tahor
    Karen Harley, Uwe Dresch, André Bendocchi-Alves
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    IDFA history

    Dutch Premiere
    IDFA Competition for Music Documentary

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    IDFA history