Summer 2009. Five paraplegics and a young able-bodied teenager light up the stage in front of an entranced audience of 8000 people. "Benda Bilili" - in English "See Beyond", is the name of ...
See full summary »
It's been months since Jafar Panahi, stuck in jail, has been awaiting a verdict by the appeals court. By depicting a day in his life, Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb try to portray the deprivations looming in contemporary Iranian cinema.
An old shepherd lives his last days in a quiet medieval village perched high on the hills of Calabria, at the southernmost tip of Italy. He herds goats under skies that most villagers have ... See full summary »
Present-day Chad. Adam, fifty-five, a former swimming champion, is pool attendant at a smart N'Djamena hotel. When the hotel gets taken over by new Chinese owners, he is forced to give up ... See full summary »
Mr. Lazarescu, a 63 year old lonely man feels sick and calls the ambulance. When it arrives, the paramedic decides he should take him to the hospital but once there they decide to send him ... See full summary »
Three women who have been driven mad by pioneer life are to be transported across the country by covered wagon by the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy, who in turn employs low-life drifter George Briggs to assist her.
Tommy Lee Jones
Tommy Lee Jones,
Summer 2009. Five paraplegics and a young able-bodied teenager light up the stage in front of an entranced audience of 8000 people. "Benda Bilili" - in English "See Beyond", is the name of this Kinshasa band which has acquired a global following. Chances of success were slim at first for these homeless handicapped artists who struggled to survive on the streets of their dilapidated capital. "Benda Bilili" is not a music film, it's the story of a dream that became reality. And a plunge into the streets of Kinshasa without a safety net. Written by
Ridiculously inspiring documentary about the coming together of a musical group formed by homeless street people, most of whom are older paraplegics, in the poverty ridden Congo. They take in a young man with his home-made, one-stringed instrument as a sort of protégé. They practice for years (the film was made over a 5 year period) before finally getting to play in Europe. The music and performances are amazing, the people even more so.
Often I find 'warm your heart' docs too sticky and manipulative. But these brave and wonderful musicians earn every bit of our admiration, respect and joy. We see the downs as well as the ups, and the film never short changes just how much work and luck have to come together for these artists to have any hope of success.
The film-makers make no pretense at staying removed and objective. They are just as won over, and in time actively become a part of trying to raise enough money to help these men live their dream, to record, and to travel with their music. (But in an understated way this never feels like a film of self-aggrandizement). A true triumph of the human spirit story, filed with smiles against all the overwhelming odds.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?