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African Film Festival 2012

Sunday, February 5, 2012
2:00 p.m. Kinshasa Symphony
Claus Wischmann, Martin Baer (Democratic Republic of Congo/Germany, 2010)

“Beautifully photographed and sonically stellar . . . a fully charged ode to the power of music.”—Variety

In a dusty, bustling Kinshasa street, one man fiddles with speaker wires, another tunes a violin, and a group of mostly self-taught amateur musicians begins to play Beethoven. Following the members of the Orchestra Kinshasa—individually and as a group—as they prepare for an open-air classical concert celebrating the country’s independence, the film details the creativity the musicians bring to balancing work, family, and rehearsals; dealing with ill-timed power outages; and repairing— and even making—their instruments. Kinshasa Symphony heralds the voices and spirits of those responsible for keeping alive a literal Ode to Joy in one of the most war-torn, chaotic areas of Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

• (95 mins, In French and Lingala with English subtitles, Color, Beta SP)