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Documentary about disabled musicians gets critics singing its praises in Cannes


France

Documentary about disabled musicians gets critics singing its praises in Cannes

With hundreds of films showing at Cannes, it would be easy to miss a good one. But critics say a real gem has premiered at the Festival’s “Director’s Fortnight.”

“Benda Bilili” features an eponymous group of disabled, homeless musicians from the Democratic Republic of Congo, whose studio is an abandoned zoo.

The frontman, Roger, plays solos on a guitar made from a tin can

“It is the story of a synergy between the group’s members which is then expanded on the streets of Kinshasa and with us, who were lucky enough to come across them.” said one of the directing duo, Renaud Barret.

“It is an optimistic film, it reminds people not to give up but to carry on dreaming, you can get what you want as long as you don’t give up.” said his co-director, Florent de la Tullaye.

The group released an album in 2009, and such was the success it led to a European tour. As band member Coco Yakala has said – “one day, we will be the most famous disabled men in all of Africa.”

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