A heartening, hopeful movie which dispels European stereotypes about Africa, Claus Wischmann and Martin Baer’s film shows how people living in one of the most chaotic cities in the world - Kinshasa, in the war-riven Democratic Republic of Congo - have
managed to forge one of the most complex systems of human cooperation ever invented: a symphony orchestra.
Two hundred orchestral musicians are playing Orff’s Carmina Burana in total darkness. A power cut has hit the Ngiri Ngiri district of Kinshasa, only a few bars before the last section of the work. Kinshasa’s power stations and main networks are insufficient to supply electricity to all the nearly 10 million inhabitants in what is Africa’s third-largest city. The film follows eight players from different walks of life, including an electrician, a street vendor, a hairdresser and a student, all under the direction of Armand Diangienda, conductor and founder of the orchestra.
Wischmann and Baer’s beguiling and triumphant look at the players in the L’Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste is more than just that; it combines the Congo,the people of Kinshasa and beautiful music into “an ode to joy” - The Economist
Vancouver Film Festival
Presented in cooperation with the Goethe-institut Irland