David Knight - 22nd July 2019

Filmed on the cliffs on the Portuguese coastline near Lisbon, Emmanuel Adjei captures an extraordinary musical gathering, where Madonna pays homage to and performs with the all-female Orquestra Batukadeiras, guardians the Capa Verdean musical and dance tradition of batuque.

With its focus on the powerful faces of the women in the multi-generational Orquestra, and the harshly beautiful setting, this is the second successive video that Adjei has directed for Madonna, where the lady herself is not the centre of attention. It's also possibly the most documentary-like of any Madonna video ever - and she's made over 75 of them.

But unlike Dark Ballet, where Mykki Blanco takes the lead role, Madonna is a powerful presence here. Her introduction into the scene is gentle, and characterised by her being part of the collective. There's a lack of artifice, and her evident enjoyment in the performance of the song Batuka with the Orquestra, a defiant, joyful cry for rebellion with a rousing call-and-response structure.

It's not Express Yourself or Vogue, but Ajdei's video for Batuka is a real breakthrough into a different kind of Madonna video.

• Exclusive interview with Madonna about the Batuka video on Refinery29  

PRO Credits


DirectorEmmanuel Adjei
ProducerTom Birmingham
Production CompanyCOMPULSORY
Production CompanyDreamers
Executive ProducerChris Toumazou
Executive ProducerMelodie Saba
Creative DirectorImogen Snell
Production ManagerPaulo Guedes
1st ADDilia Brito
Art DirectorPaulina Rzeszowska
HairAndy Lecompte
Make-upIsamaya French
EditorDanny Tull
Post production companyMathematic
Post ProducerJulia Kerguelen
Other creditsService Producer: Margarida Adónis Ass. Prod. Designer: Ruth Levy Ass. Make-up: Porsche Poon Styling For Madonna: Eyob Yohannes Talent & Prod. Coordinator: Sara Brito Prod. Secretary: Renata Amaro Location Managers: Tiago Nogueira, Luis Santos, Joao Barata, Joao Correia Local Stylist: Isabel Carmona Local MUA & HD: Mery Pastore Camino, António Carreteiro Local Art Director: Sebas Serra VFX Supervisor: Yann Aldabe Flame Artist: Michael Bianchi VFX Producer: Guillaume Marien Post Producer: Julia Kerguelen Ass. Choreographer: Nicolas Huchard Service Company: Ready To Shoot Colorist: Tom Watson Special Thanks To Dino D' Santiago And The Orquestra Batukadeiras. Stills Photography: Riccardo Castano

David Knight - 22nd July 2019

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