Magee was born in Canada and grew up between East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia) and Washington DC. Attending high school in DC, Magee won a grant to film his a political documentary on the tiny kingdom of Swaziland in Southern Africa. Successfully interviewing not only the head of the opposition parties in this small but politically fragile country, but also the King himself, later voted as among multiple publications as one of the top 20 worst dictators in the world, who has become increasingly controversial. This film was Magee's first and it set him on a path of political and cultural exploration throughout the world with film as his medium. Since then, Magee has increasingly focused his work on international politics and the use of music, particularly hip hop music, as a political tool. In college he produced a documentary entitled 'Getting' A Bad Rap: Conversations about hip hop from NYC to CT' and his senior thesis film entitled "Nyama: the Modern Manifestation of Griot Culture and Tradition in the US Through Hip Hop,' a film exploring the links of west African griot culture to modern American hip hop as we know it. In the past year, Magee co-founded Sol Productions, a non profit film production company, and, together with his two other film partners, has filmed the Presidential Elections in Venezuela, Senegal, and France. He also cofounded, together with Nomadic Wax and Trinity College, the first ever International Hip Hop Festival and Conference of its size in the US, and is currently working on a film about this groundbreaking event. Today, Magee is busy working on three political documentaries: one on President Hugo Chavez's recent re-election in Venezuela, one on hip hop's role in the recent and highly controversial Senegalese presidential elections, and one on African immigrants during the recent French presidential elections.
AVAILABLE FROM TWN:Democracy in Dakar
Ben Herson, Magee McIlvaine & Chris Moore
Producer: Nomadic Wax and Sol Productions
2007, 66 min., Color, US/Senegal
"Democracy in Dakar" explores the transformative role of Hip-Hop in politics in Senegal, West Africa during the 2007 presidential election campaign. This documentary mixes interviews, freestyles, and ...