Mama Africa

Miriam Makeba

Among racial fights, sold out venues, loves and exiles.

Mika Kaurismäki’s Mama Africa is a job that can fill the gap between the crystallized image of success like “Pata Pata” and the intense life of Miriam Makeba. Among racial strife, packed stadiums, love and exile, echoes the famous “click”, the phoneme of an intact language forever inaccessible to the settlers.

Directed by  Mika Kaurismäki

Origin: Finland, Germany, South Africa

Year: 2011

Lenght: 90 min.

Photography: Jacques Cheuiche, Wolfgang Held, Frank P. Lehmann, Martina Radwan, Eran Tahor

Editing: Karen Harle, Uwe Dresch, André Bendocchi-Alves

Screenplay: Don Edkins, Mika Kaurismäki

Music: Miriam Makeba

Production: Rainer Kölmel (Starhaus Filmproduktion GmbH) 


Mika Kaurismäki, is a Finnish director, screenwriter, producer and actor. He is Aki Kaurismäki’s old brother. His graduation film “The Liar” (1980), written with his brother, obtain an immediate success in Finland and marks the beginning of the Kaurismäki brothers career. Together they founded the production company Villealfa Filmproductions which specializes in low-budget productions. At the end of the ‘80s it was the third film production company in Finland. Mika Kaurismäki is the cofounder of the legendary Midnight Sun Film Festival (1986). In 1987 he founded the distribution company Senso Films and the independent production company Marianna Films. In 1992 he moved to Brazil where he made the documentary “Tigrero – a film that was never made” (1994), winner of the Critics Award at the Berlin Film Festival in 1994. In the last few years he has made a series of films and documentaries focusing on the world of music, including “Moro no Brasil” (2002), “Brasileirinho” (2005) on Brazilian choro music, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and “Sonic Mirror” (2007) about the figure of the legendary drummer Billy Cobham.