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Behind the scenes of Kinshasa’s music scene: ‘Rumba Rules, New Genealogies’, a documentary film by David N Bernatchez and Sammy Baloji, offers an enjoyable, rough-edged glimpse into the scene.

The current AFRICAMERA festival is spotlighting Youth & Youth Culture, with a particular focus on music. David N Bernatchez and Sammy Baloji’s documentary film Rumba Rules, New Genealogies, provides a portrait of the 30-strong Brigade Sarbati Orchestra. When they bring their Congolese rumba to the stage, the melange of Cuban rhythms, home-grown vocals and dancing draws its audience in with an infectious, inescapable passion.

This nocturnal rumba-partying in the Congolese metropolis of Kinshasa might seem improvised, but there’s hard work going on behind the scenes. Rumba Rules, New Genealogies offers an enjoyable, rough-edged glimpse into the music scene of Kinshasa, with impromptu shots drawing the audience into jam sessions and the quest for perfection in the studio. The film follows several of the musicians, telling of their life in the Congo and the years of musical training that forms the foundation for the orchestra’s success – and its creativity and raw energy that brings the unifying power of rumba music alive.

In Rumba Rules, New Genealogies, filmmakers Sammy Baloji, David N Bernatchez and Kiripi Katembo Siku (who died shortly before filming) have succeeded in creating both a thrilling, polyphonic film essay on the rumba scene, and a captivating portrait of the metropolis of Kinshasa.

To the trailer


African Cinema Film Festival

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