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Benda Bilili! (2010)

1:22 | Trailer
Kinshasa, DRCongo, 2005: Benda Bilili, poor paraplegic street musicians, get noticed by a French film team. Studio recordings get their music out on album and 2009, they have concerts in Europe.


Renaud Barret (script), Florent de La Tullaye (script)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Leon Likabu Leon Likabu ... Self (as Leon "Ricky" Likabu)
Roger Landu Roger Landu ... Self
Coco Ngambali Coco Ngambali ... Self (as Coco Ngambali Yakala)
Cubain Kabeya Cubain Kabeya ... Self
Paulin Kiara-Maigi Paulin Kiara-Maigi ... Self (as Paulin "Cavalier" Kiara-Maigi)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Waroma 'Santu Papa' Abi-Ngoma Waroma 'Santu Papa' Abi-Ngoma
Maria Barli Djongo Maria Barli Djongo ... Self
Renaud Barret Renaud Barret ... (voice)
Kabanka Kabose Kasungo Kabanka Kabose Kasungo
Vincent Kenis Vincent Kenis ... Self
Claud Kinunu Montana Claud Kinunu Montana ... Self
Theo Nsituvuidi Theo Nsituvuidi ... Self (as Theo "Coude" Nsituvuidi)
Zadis Mbulu Nzungu Zadis Mbulu Nzungu
Djunana Tanga-Suele Djunana Tanga-Suele ... Self


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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Life... Love... Music


Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some drug material | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The title means "look beyond appearances" in Lingala, one of the languages spoken in Central Africa. See more »

User Reviews

Simply wonderful
11 March 2015 | by runamokprodsSee all my reviews

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.

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Lingala | French

Release Date:

8 September 2010 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Бенда Билили! See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,678, 2 October 2011

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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