Staff Benda Bilili!
30 November 2012
A film about an unusual but totally groovy group of musicians from the shanty towns of Kinshasa in the Congo.
‘Benda Billili’ means ‘look beyond’ in Lingala, one of the Congo’s many languages. This documentary tells the tale of five paraplegic musicians who live beside the zoo in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, and about the street children who help them. The latter include the young Roger Landu, who is ‘adopted’ by the older men and develops into an exceptional soloist.
Overcoming their mobility problems, their complete lack of material means and a dangerous and unstable environment, the group manages to get their music across to an international audience and become a symbol of hope. The film was shown in the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Festival in 2010.