Benda Bilili!

2011

Benda Bilili! (2011)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Benda Bilili! follows an unlikely group of musicians in Kinshasa, capital of the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. The band, Staff Benda Bilili-in English, "look beyond"-is a group of street musicians composed of four paraplegics and three able-bodied men. The core of the group is four singer/guitarists polio, who use customized tricycles to get around: Ricky, the eldest and a co-founding member of the band; Coco, the band's composer and co-founding member with Ricky; Junana, the member most disabled by polio, yet the official choreographer; and Coude, a bass player and soprano singer. Joining them is a young and entirely acoustic rhythm section, led by Roger, a teenage prodigy on the satongé, a one-string guitar he designed and built himself out of a tin can. -- (C) Nat Geo

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Critic Reviews for Benda Bilili!

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (9)

Staff Benda Bilili's unlikely triumph is an epic feat, with or without anyone's help.

Oct 14, 2011 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

From out of the gloom comes the hypnotic grooves of a band called Staff Benda Bilili. The name means "look beyond appearances," and the members of this remarkable musical collective do just that.

Oct 14, 2011 | Rating: 3/4

Benda Belili! reminds us that we need to look beyond The X Factor to discover musical talent that strikes a deeper chord.

Oct 14, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

"Benda Bilili!" earns its exclamation point. It's a feel-good movie that actually makes you feel good, a story that will have you shaking your head in astonishment and moving your feet to some unstoppable rhythms.

Oct 6, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

"Benda Bilili!" is brutally real, a document of willpower that shows not only the magic of transcendence - which may be fleeting - but also the transformation of aspiring to it, every struggling step of the way.

Sep 29, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

This unsentimental, smartly assembled film is equally attentive to the cacophony of African poverty and the balm of harmony provided by these pied pipers of hope.

Sep 29, 2011 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Benda Bilili!

Superlative and incredibly moving music doc. Review soon.

Daniel Parsons
Daniel Parsons

Super Reviewer

½

Set during a dark time, ''Benda Bilili'' manages to be one of the most uplifting films of 2011. Even though this documentary is set during a very dark time in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the filmmakers bring light to the film by showing us the achievements of the group of musicians the filmmakers follow. It is a fascinating journey that shows us just how much can be achieved with so little. One of 2011's best so far.

Liam Gadd
Liam Gadd

Super Reviewer

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