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This powerful introduction to South African singer and anti-apartheid activist Miriam Makeba played a few film festivals in 2011, but was then taken out of circulation. Now receiving its official U.S. release, it profiles the first African musician to become a true international star. Her music – which influenced artists across the globe – always remained anchored in her traditional South African roots and conveyed strong messages against racism and poverty. She sang for John F. Kennedy and Marlon Brando, performed with Harry Belafonte, Nina Simone and Dizzy Gillespie, was married to Hugh Masekela and also the radical Black Panther Stokely Carmichael. Using rare archive footage of her performances, interviews and intimate scenes filmed over the years, the documentary expertly exposes the tumultuous but always fascinating life of a worldwide icon.

1:30 p.m. Sat., April 14, Detroit Historical Museum

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YEAR 2011
RUN TIME 90 minutes
Directed by Mika Kaurismäki