Director: Martin Baer, Claus Wischmann, Germany, 2010,
OV with english subtitles
The documentary film "Kinshasa Symphony" portrays Central Africa's only symphony orchestra and accompanies it in its preparation for a major open-air performance on the occasion of Independence Day, which is expected to attract several thousand viewers. The film shows the orchestra rehearsing pieces by Beethoven, Verdi and other classical greats and provides an insight into the private lives of the members of the "L'Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste".
The film's narrative arc takes us to their performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in an empty, dirt-filled public square. But what is most revealing, and most gripping, is to see how these musicians deal with the impossible reality of Kinshasa, made possible every day by its hardworking, creative and tenacious people. One of the most wrenching segments follows Nathalie Bahati, a flutist and single mother, as she struggles to find an affordable apartment to keep little more than a roof over the head of the young son. The joy the musicians take in their music-making is what gets them through. As the orchestra's concertmaster, Héritier Mayimbi Mbuangi says, "When we're working on the music, there are no limits. It's like a staircase: You go up, and up."
For more information:
Don’t miss out on BEETHOVEN’S 9th Symphony in Abu Dhabi
See the whole Abu Dhabi Classics program