Miriam Makeba was an incredible person. She was the first African musician to win international stardom, one whose music was always anchored in her traditional South African roots, as was her ceaseless message against racism and poverty. Miriam was forced into a life in exile, after exposing the harsh realities of apartheid. Singing for John F. Kennedy and Marlon Brando, performing with Harry Belafonte, Nina Simone and Dizzie Gillespie, being married to Hugh Masekela and then Stokely Carmichael, her life was a tumultuous one. A life that always stood for truth and justice on behalf of oppressed people, most importantly for Africans, as a global campaigner against apartheid. She tragically died after collapsing at a concert in November 2008 in Italy at the age of 76.
This documentary traces her life and music through more than fifty years of performing. Friends and colleagues, some who knew her since she started performing in the dance halls of South Africa (remember Pata Pata), together with her grandson Nelson Lumumba Lee, allow us to know the remarkable journey of Miriam Makeba.
Mika Kaurismäki’s first film THE LIAR (1980) was an overnight sensation, when first shown in Finland. It started a new era in the Finnish cinema.