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Posts Tagged ‘Mobutu

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This documentary looks awesome:

Zaire ’74 almost didn’t happen. The festival was “a fool’s mission” from the start, said Stewart Levine…When Mr. Levine heard about the boxing match in Zaire, he said by telephone from Los Angeles, “it just hit me — how about a music festival?”

…The government of Zaire subsidized the boxing match; Zaire’s dictator,Mobutu Sese Seko, wanted to burnish his country’s image. But Zaire would not finance the festival. So Mr. Levine rounded up backing from bankers in Liberia…

…With contacts at ABC, Mr. Levine said, he prevailed on the sportscaster Howard Cosell to hold back for 24 hours the news that the fight had been postponed, lest the American musicians stay home. He was also lucky, he said, that it was Rosh Hashanah, and many of the performers’ managers were observing the holiday.

…Many of the performers and Mr. Ali himself are shown as starry-eyed about Africa. Mr. Withers, who was well-traveled after nine years in the Navy, was more levelheaded. “I felt like a very privileged person in an unprivileged setting,” he said. “This Mobutu guy, this dictator — that didn’t cheer me up, the disparity in the wealth. There seemed to be a large gap between the chosen people that were around him and everybody else.”

Seems like a must see.

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Written by Niall

July 5, 2009 at 11:02 am