Director: Mika Kaurismäki

2011, Germany, South Africa, Finland

Language: English, French


Cast: Miriam Makeba, Harry Belafonte, Stokely Carmichael, Angélique Kidjo, Hugh Masekela, Paul Simon & Nelson Mandela

Program Notes

Mama Africa: Miriam Makeba introduces to a new generation of Americans the world-famous South African singer Miriam Makeba and her legacy. Miriam Makeba (1932-2008) spent half a century travelling the world spreading her political message to fight racism, poverty and promote justice and peace. Through rare archive footage of her performances and through testimonies of her contemporaries and supporters including Harry Belafonte, Stokely Carmichael, Hugh Masekela, Paul Simon, Angélique Kidjo and many others – we discover Miriam Makeba’s remarkable journey.

“The filmmakers present Makeba as a woman divided between her political activism and music, and equally dedicated to both. She was the first black woman to speak at the United Nations, in 1963, and gained her nickname “Mama Africa” for the way she brought together the African continent and the attention she brought it from the rest of the world.” – Hollywood Reporter