Mama Africa, a documentary by Mika Kaurismaki, was one of the most eagerly awaited screenings at the 2012 Biografilm Festival in Bologna. The film review focuses on special men and women and this year it’s dedicated to people who have fought for their ideas, projects or goals. The film tells the story of Miriam Makeba , the first African musician and singer to achieve global success, and a symbol of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.
Sunday 12 June, Mama Africauses rare library footage was shown, plus interviews with friends and people who worked with her, to trace her life and career. From a performer of popular songs like “Pata Pata”, she became an indomitable spokeswoman for civil rights and an icon around the world. There is also testimony from young South African artists, born when Makeba was in exile, who were inspired by her life and art.
“Miriam Makeba’s life is perhaps one of the strongest examples of how art can be used in the service of social and political goals,” said the director Kaurismaki. “Her art always had a very strong message. During the years she spent in forced exile, she immediately became the symbol of the struggle for racial equality.”