Benda Bilili! (PG)

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The Independent Culture

The term "life-affirming" has lost its significance through overuse; this documentary restores us to its real meaning.

On the dusty streets of Kinshasa a bunch of penniless, polio-afflicted musicians create exuberant folk songs utterly at odds with the impoverished circumstances in which they live – cardboard beds being their regular flop. The film-makers Renaud Barret and Florent de La Tullaye followed them over five years together, which climaxed in an album (Très Très Fort) and a European tour – not bad for a band who used to rehearse in the grounds of the city zoo.