Flatpack Projects
Film, and then some

Kinshasa Symphony

Sunday 27th March, 2011

MAC Birmingham | 14:30 - 16:30

UK premiere of a moving German documentary about Central Africa's only symphony orchestra.

A recurring theme at Flatpack is people using limited resources to create something beautiful, and this is one of the most memorable examples. Central Africa’s only symphony orchestra, the Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste is made up of 200 amateur musicians living in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa. Many of them fit in rehearsals around two or three day-jobs, like the hairdressing electrician Joseph Masunda Lutete who frequently has to put down his viola and carry out running repairs when the power cuts out.

Mastering Beethoven’s Ninth is tricky enough without having to deal with black-outs, traffic noise and home-made instruments, but the filmmakers avoid any sense of patting their subjects on the head. The tense build-up to a climactic performance is recorded with humour and an eye for detail, while in the background they sketch out a picture of a country continually beset by war.

Dir: Claus Wischmann & Martin Baer Germany/DR Congo 2010

With: Joseph Masunda Lutete, Albert Nlanzu Matubanza, Nathalie Angwanguilo Bahati Running Time: 95 mins