Mama Africa


International Premiere

Germany, Finland, South Africa | 90 MINUTES | English, French |


Documentary, Music

For nearly half a century, Grammy-winning South African singer Miriam Makeba—known to fans as "Mama Africa"—travelled the world with powerful songs of joy, love, and revolution that have resonated in the hearts of people across the world. Against the disharmonious backdrop of Apartheid and international liberation movements around the world, Makeba's captivating melodies exposed the brutality and racism of the South African government and made her an early icon of Black freedom. Exiled from her homeland for nearly 30 years, Makeba moved to the US, but her controversial marriage to Black Panther Stokely Carmichael left her with revoked US record deals and cancelled national tours. In protest of an American brand of racism, Makeba moved to Guinea, where she continued her activism and leadership as the first black female representative to the United Nations.

Award-winning director Mika Kaurismäki's inspirational tribute to Makeba is packed with five decades of rare archival footage, interviews, and excerpts from the legendary performances that exhilarated millions and inspired musicians like Harry Belafonte, Hugh Masekela, and Paul Simon.


Directed by Christian Bonke

MIKA KAURISMÄKI had his first hit with The Liar in 1980. He then co-founded the production company Villealfa Filmproductions. His films include Rosso, Helsinki Napolia - All Night Long, The Amazon, Zombie and the Ghost Train, LA Without a Map, Moro No Brasil, Honey Baby, Sonic Mirror, Three Wise Men, and The House of Branching Love.
Primary Cast
Miriam Makeba, Harry Belafonte, Stokley Carmichael
Mika Kaurismäki
Mika Kaurismäki, Don Edkins
Karen Harley, Uwe Dresch, André Bendocchi-Alves
Rainer Kölmel


Fortissimo Films
Fortissimo Films
Amsterdam, CN 1013
Phone: 21-20 627 3215
Rainer Kolmel
Kinowelt International GmbH
Munchen, 80802
Phone: 49-89-550-57445