Five things to get or see in December

Issue section: 

Fela! - Soweto Kinch - Miral - Restrepo - Rosen

National Theatre, until 23 January

An explosive cabaret of music, dance and drama, Fela! tells the story of legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti. Influenced by the Black Power movement, Kuti was a multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of Afrobeat music, which he used to lambast imperialism and dictatorship in Africa.

Soweto Kinch: The New Emancipation
CD, out now

The old slavery may have gone, but new forms have taken their place. That's the message of Soweto Kinch's new album. It is full of anger, sadness and ultimately hope. The fusion of jazz, rap, poetry, skits and soul sometimes misses the mark, but at its best it packs a powerful punch. Perhaps the first great album about the economic crisis!

Film, from 3 December

Director Julian Schnabel's new film, coming to cinemas this month, covers the story of the Palestinian struggle from the Nakba of 1948 to the Oslo Accords of the mid-1990s. It follows the story of Miral, played by Freida Pinto, who as a 17 year old becomes involved in the first Intifada against the Israeli occupation.

The film uses powerful acting mixed in with newsreel footage to give a devastating account of Israel's daily atrocities against Palestinians.

DVD, released 6 December

Winner of the grand jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival, this documentary follows one mission by a group of US soldiers in Afghanistan. The film captures moments of sheer terror as well as grinding boredom. Without voiceover or editorial to keep the viewer at a comfortable distance, Restrepo exposes the brutality and horror of the war.

As war reporting goes, it doesn't get much more real or powerful.

Michael Rosen
Bookmarks, 18 December

Take a break from the consumerist madness of pre-Christmas Oxford Street and join Michael Rosen in Bookmarks bookshop for a special event and booksigning for all ages. Adults £4, children free. To book places, phone 020 7637 1848 or visit the Bookmarks website.