STAY HUMAN: A Film by Michael Franti (2019)

Michael Franti goes in search of humanity and positivity. And finds it.

Franti has been around a while now and has been on something of a journey. Given up for adoption at birth because his biological father was a racist, he was brought up in the loving environment of a family that already had three natural children.

No matter how much love he had from his new family he still felt like an outsider, hence the aggression of his early musical outings with the Beatnigs and the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy.

Since 1994 he has created some of the most sublime and beautiful music with his outfit Spearhead. They have performed clubs, stadiums, festivals and street corners.

Along the way he has absorbed the positivity of the people he has met along the way, which is reflected in his music – a far cry from the 80s anthem ‘Television, Drug of the Nation’.

In this film he meets some inspirational characters. He spends time with a mid wife in a village in the Philippines that has been devastated by a tornado. He hangs out with a terminally illl fan and we are with him as he receives tragic family news and writes the song ‘Nobody Cries Alone’.

In Indonesia he spends time with activists trying to bring life back into an area that has been devastated by deforestation by growing bamboo and creating new sustainable forest. Bamboo has a myriad of uses and grows up to 2m in 24 hours. Whilst there he sings along with the village’s traditional choir, in the process restoring his faith in humanity.

The power of music to enhance life is also in evidence in his trips to a South African school that helps disadvantaged kids.

And if you watch this film, unless you have a heart of stone, it will restore your faith in humanity.  There will be tears and smiles while you watch.