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Ajyal Youth Film Festival 2017

All Films

Benda Bilili! (Benda Bilili!)

World Panorama

Renaud Barret, Florent de La Tullaye / Feature Documentary / Democratic Republic of the Congo, France / 2010 / 84 min / Color / 35 mm
In Lingala, French / English, Arabic subtitles
Interests: Disability, Documentary, Music, African
Qatar Premiere
Rated: General Audiences. Suitable for ages 4 and up.

Screenings

  • Fri, Oct 29, 08:00 PM, (City Center 01) Regular screening
    • Q&A: Filmmakers in attendance
    Event has passed
  • Sat, Oct 30, 08:45 PM, (City Center 05) Regular screening
    • Q&A: Filmmakers in attendance
    Event has passed

Synopsis

The soul-stirring spirit of song and the resolve to rise above desperate poverty are the backbone of this amazing documentary about Staff Benda Bilili, a Congolese music group comprising of street kids and paraplegic polio victims. Hardly a slick ensemble, they begin rehearsing outdoors - in the Kinshasa Zoo! - with rusty old instruments and reclaimed rubbish. One able-bodied youngster fashions his own unique "lute" from an empty milk container, a hunk of wood and a single, tightly-wound string. Don't laugh: the kid wails on that mono-string with the intensity of Jimi Hendrix. After years of struggling for funds and studio time, they finally record their debut album, and - amazing but true - the band ultimately becomes a massive hit on a European tour. "A man's life is never over, luck shows up unannounced... I know we'll succeed someday," goes a lyric in one funky soukous number, and this project - which began as a general documentary about African music - demonstrates that notion in clear, vibrant rhythms.

About the Directors

Renaud Barret, Florent de La Tullaye
Renaud Barret and Florent de la Tullaye live and work in France and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition to their feature film "Benda Bilili!," they also worked together on "Victoire Terminus" in 2008 and "Jupiter's Dance" ("La Danse de Jupiter") in 2006.

Credits

Director
Renaud Barret, Florent de La Tullaye
Producer
Yves Chanvillard, Nadim Cheikhrouha
Editor
Jean-Christophe Hym
Music
Staff Benda Bilili

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