Cosima Spender
Cosima Spender

Songbird - The Rise of an African Diva

Rokia Traore descends from a family of noble warriors. At 27, she is becoming the new diva of African music.

With fame comes a growing feeling of disconnection from her roots. Rokia is caught between two cultures, which instead of hampering her, is feeding her music, constantly pushing her to explore new grounds. She is preparing for the most challenging and ambitious of her projects, a collaboration with the well-established Kronos Quartet.

The film explores what lies behind this collaboration, tracing Rokia's creative and personal journey which has brought her to this crossroads between her European and African self. Through Rokia, the viewer is immersed in positive and yet complex portrait of the contemporary African society in which the clash between the "traditional" and the "modern" produces remarkable and fascinating cultural diversity.

Team Partner
Laurens Grant, producer
United Kingdom
Training Programme
Masterschool 2001