Kinshasa Symphony Review
Kinshasa Symphony is a
beautiful and moving
documentary film by Claus Wischmann and Martin Baer. The documentary is
orchestral group of musicians living in Kinshasa within the Congo.
talented musicians are every bit as determined and passionate about
music as anyone could ever possibly be but they are faced with even
in being able to perform the music. The struggles are deeply human,
real, and the outcomes are the moments of hope that provide insight
determination of all people and are compelling reasons and reminders to
out our dreams.
Symphony is a
about people who make music and it is
about the music they make too. There is a fine line
distinction to make in
regards to that aspect of analysis. One might feel as though the
even more about insight into the culture and lives of the people, but
it is still
a showcase of the musical abilities of these musicians. The documentary
filmmakers do a great job of balancing these two essential elements.
poverty surrounding the environment prohibits the people of Kinshasa
able to afford as many instruments as needed. This is one element that
some notable discussion. The music director discusses how the
instruments take time
and money to be made that they simply can't afford. Many of the
share instruments and use them for practice at twenty minutes at a time
(especially for those wishing to begin to be learners). These
are difficulties that put a strain on
everyone hoping to experience all the joy associated with learning and
exploring musical abilities and potential talents.
film alternates between showcasing aspects of the daily lives of these
in said Kinshasa Symphony and showcasing the rehearsals leading up to a
performance for the community. The concert is free and is aimed towards
enriching and entertaining everyone inside the community. This
documentary presents the unfortunate poverty that negatively seems to
most of these people and it doesn't pull away from the difficult
While it is not always an easy film to watch it is one that remains
as invigorating and enlightening.
music is understandably a wonderful reason to want to experience the
well, though. Hearing Beethoven's Ninth played by such a large
with so many different vocalists is an accomplishment in and of itself.
fact that the music is also incredibly beautiful and moving is a huge
to the talent and time invested in bringing the show together for all
people in Kinshasa.
was moved by the big investment in energy and passion for music-making
It helped to make this documentary one of the most easily recommended
have seen recently and quite unexpectedly one of the best all-around
too. If experiencing a slice-of-life film in documentary form or style
and especially if you are someone who is
interested in learning about a different culture and the efforts made
the classical masterpieces this is a good documentary fit for you. It's
compassionate and notable filmmaking on every level.
presented in 1080p High
Definition. The picture quality is somewhat inconsistent. The color
reproduction is excellent and the level of detail is effective but
to be an array of shots that are somewhat blurry and less sharp than
This was probably a result of whatever equipment was used to film this
production. It is difficult to describe the results as disappointing.
quality is significantly high in quality in comparison to most
available. It is a good showcase for the possibilities of the Blu-ray
preserving important documentaries. The Blu-ray release preserves the
theatrical exhibition aspect ratio of 1.85:1.
audio presentation is high quality with a vital
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound option. An additional 2.0
PCM mix is also included. This is sort of surprising for a documentary
Not only are there two lossless audio options but both are the
audio-rich presentations that few would expect. The music is reproduced
great clarity and care. I was not disappointed by an enveloping
are provided in English, German, French,
Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, and Russian.
the case is a detailed and enjoyable booklet with
information about the film and the people involved. It also contains a
selection of photographs.
video feature is a collection of short deleted
scenes. These scenes don't really add much to the narrative of the
documentary so it isn't difficult to understand why they were
out of the film. However, these moments still add something to the
experience for those willing to devote a few more minutes to
people who make up the Kinshasa Symphony. (10
Minutes and in AVC High Definition).
other C Major releases are also included.
effective documentary that explores
the lives of a struggling nation of people. Within the nation there are
by a love of classical music: a universal language that transcends
words. As you witness the creation of instruments and the joy brought
people by the power of sharing and creating music together you can
transported and reminded of the immense spiritual wonder of music. This
film that can be enjoyed and admired by anyone with a passion for
is a wonderful thing that is important and necessary in all cultures
in life and this documentary serves as a love letter to that glorious
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.