On the Rumba River - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

On the Rumba River Reviews

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Nora Lee Mandel
December 7, 2008
Rambling, but gloriously celebrates the triumph of the talents and art of old men even in the most deprived and depressing of circumstances.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Nick Schager
June 7, 2008
Makes up for its lack of informational depth with stirring poignancy.
June 6, 2008
Like The Buena Vista Social Club, to which it has been compared, the film's great strength is its performance footage.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Noel Murray
AV Club
June 6, 2008
Mostly On The Rumba River works best when it sticks to the musical performances, which Sarin films in lengthy scenes built from extreme close-ups of lips, fingers and sweaty skin.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
June 6, 2008
You don’t have to be a fan of African tunes to appreciate Jacques Sarasin’s heartfelt ode to Congolese music and its resilient practitioners.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Amy Nicholson
Boxoffice Magazine
June 6, 2008
An introduction to singer/songwriter Papa Wendo Kolosoy that leaves us feeling like he's an acquaintance we'd like to meet properly.
| Original Score: 3/5
Chris Barsanti
Film Journal International
June 6, 2008
Jacques Sarasin's documentary about the legendary Congolese singer Wendo Kolosoy is a big, mellow jam of a film--a must-see for world-music fans.
Rob Humanick
Slant Magazine
June 5, 2008
On the Rumba River illuminates a culture's means of political response via communal expression through music.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Julia Wallace
Village Voice
June 4, 2008
As a filmmaker, Sarasin has an extraordinarily light touch.
Kam Williams
June 4, 2008
The Kinshasa Social Club, if you get my drift.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Louis Proyect
May 23, 2008
Totally winning documentary that can best be described as the Congolese version of "Buena Vista Social Club". A loving portrait of the reemergence of an 83 year old master musician.
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
June 6, 2008
Delightful music alternates with too-brief interviews with Wendo and his colleagues. On the Rumba River cries out for narration to help viewers understand the tragic context of his life.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Hank Shteamer
Time Out
June 5, 2008
Director Jacques Sarasin's refusal to supply more than scraps of context -- either about the performers or the politics of the civil-war-torn region -- renders the film narratively limp.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
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