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KINSHASA SYMPHONY

KINSHASA SYMPHONY
Scene from KINSHASA SYMPHONY (photo © sounding images GmbH)

Two hundred orchestral musicians are playing Orff’s Carmina Burana in total darkness. A power cut has hit the Ngiri Ngiri district of Kinshasa, only a few bars before the last section of the work. Kinshasa’s power stations and main networks are insufficient to supply electricity to all the 8 million inhabitants of what is Africa’s third-largest city. Once again the lights have gone out in the “Salle des fêtes”, a kind of open garage where the orchestra practices. But for its members this is no reason to stop rehearsing. Most of them know their parts by heart. Small lapses of memory are compensated for by a talent for improvisation and the grace of God.


Claus Wischmann is a Berlin-based filmmaker, writer, director and producer. A selection of his award-winning films includes: EINE RIESE AUF REISEN (2002), THE ART OF BELCANTO - EDITA GRUBEROVA (2008), KINSHASA SYMPHONY (2010), SURVIVAL ARTISTS (2016), GOZO – ONE ISLAND, TWO OPERAS (2016), and THE ILLEGAL FILM (2018).

Martin Baer is a Berlin-based cameraman, writer and director. His films include: LICENSED TO KILL (1991), DANCE WITH DEATH – A HISTORY OF BULL-FIGHTING (1992), HEZBULLAH IN LEBANON (1994), FREE AFRICA! (1999), HEADHUNTING (2001), VAMOS A LA PLAYA (2001), HUMEDICA IN RUANDA (2003), WHITE GHOSTS (2004), KINSHASA SYMPHONY (2010), and THE ILLEGAL FILM (2018).
Genre Music
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2010
Directors Claus Wischmann, Martin Baer
Screenplay Claus Wischmann
Cinematography Martin Baer
Peter Klum
Jan Tilman Schade
Producer Stefan Pannen
Production Company Sounding Images, in co-production with WDR, RBB
Length 95 min
Original Version
 French, Lingala
Subtitled Versions German, English, French
Festivals Berlin 2010, Nyon 2010 (Opening Film), Afrika Filmfestival Leuven 2010, OpenDoek Turnhout 2010, DOK.fest Munich 2010, Real Life Documentary Festival Ghana 2010, Ecrans Noire Yaoundé 2010, Festival des deutschen Films Ludwigshafen 2010, Palm Springs 2011, Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 2011, Planete Doc Warsaw 2011, Seattle 2011, BUSTER Copenhagen 2012
With backing from German Federal Film Board, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, MEDIA Plus

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