‹ Back to Past Screenings & Events

YFS Past Screenings & Events

Benda Bilili!

This screening took place on
Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 6:00pm
Yukon Arts Centre

In 2004, directors Renaud Barret and Florent de la Tullaye discovered a group of homeless, paraplegic musicians living and playing in the streets of Kinshasa. By 2010, Staff Benda Bilili, as they are called (the name means “beyond appearances”) were playing the legendary Glastonbury music festival in England, as well as packing them in in Paris, in support of their album Trés, trés fort. Barret and de la Tullaye were there for the complete journey. This is the amazing story.

“Staff Benda Bilili are a group of Congolese buskers who gather beneath the acacia trees in Kinshasa zoo, where they dream of stardom and a mattress to call their own. This amiable documentary shows how they get there, trailing a ramshackle alliance of middle-aged paraplegics and street kids as they wend their way from African slum to European concert hall. If the journey feels a little stage-managed at times, the film’s exuberant side-notes more than make amends, as the music itself plays out as an exuberant blend of blues and African rumba. It’s the noise of the discarded: picked up, brushed down and made precious again.”—Xan Brooks, Guardian

“Benda Bilili! inspires and exhilarates” ~ Ken Eisner, The Georgia Straight

  • Directed by Renaud Barret, Florent de la Tullaye
  • 2011, DRC/France
  • 85 minutes

    YFS Annual Supporters

    Supporters