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Tribeca 2012 Preview – “Alekesam” (Hugh Masekela And His Son Attempt To Reconnect With Each Other)

Tribeca 2012 Preview - "Alekesam" (Hugh Masekela And His Son Attempt To Reconnect With Each Other)

The 2012 Tribeca Film Festival officially kicks off on Thursday, the 19th, and I’ll make every attempt to see as many S&A films as I can and write about them; a brotha’s is worn out, so if any of you will be attending any screenings at the festival, and you’d like to submit a review of whatever you see, feel free to email me and we’ll chat (

Here’s one of a handful of titles of interest, titled Alekesam, a short doc on musician, activist, father, Hugh Masekela, who was exiled from his family and native South Africa for over 30 years as a direct result of Apartheid.

Undaunted, he would find musical success in the USA with the 1968 number one hit, Grazin’ In The Grass, and 3 years later, in 1971 he would father a son, Selema Mabena Masekela.

The rest of the story goes:

Shortly thereafter, Hugh would make the choice to leave America and his son for Africa, in an effort to reconnect to his homeland through music and create awareness about the situation in South Africa. 39 years later, Selema, better known as television personality and ESPN X Games host ‘Sal’ Masekela, reflects on his relationship with his father, the accompanying issues of abandonment and addiction, race and self, and the conflicts that influence the choices we make in our lives.

The set up is somewhat familiar –  a father and son essentially exiled from one another attempt to reconnect with each other; But I’m sold. I’d definitely like to check this out. 

The film is directed be Jason Bergh.

Watch the trailer:

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Cool, I'd love to check this out. Hugh is a legend and Sal is a good dude.


Seems odd that it's a short instead of a feature.


***Facial expression… TOTAL SHOCK!!!*** I'll be goddamn, this has to be the most surprising news of the year (for me). I "lived" that period… I "felt" Hugh Masekela's music… I had no idea 'Sal' Masekela was his son! If I was in New York this would be the film that I would rush to see. There are so many questions for everyone involved… the abandoned child… the abandoned wife… what a person will sacrifice for something they believe in… the journey of the fatherless child… how has racism affected everyone in this tangled web… what's their view of whites in general… being the son of an iconic figure… role model(s)… grief, sorrow,pain and open wounds???!!! Questions-Questions-Questions…

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