One of the great global success stories of the past few years, Staff Benda Bilili have become an unstoppable force. A group of street musicians who used to live & play around the grounds of the zoo in Kinshasa, Congo, they make music of astonishing power and beauty. The band’s mesmerising rumba-rooted grooves, overlaid with vibrant vocals and extraordinary tin-can guitar solos, have been dazzling audiences and media the world over, on record, on stage and on the big screen.
The full-length film about the band is set to become a worldwide sensation
"Benda Bilili", the film about the story of Staff Benda Bilili, was welcomed with a standing ovation on the opening night of the Cannes Film Festival. The internet is buzing with tweets and posts...
"An extraordinary film ... it will do what Ry Cooder & Wim Wenders did for the
Buena Vista Club and make them (Staff Benda Bilili) world famous...", says BBC Radio
"a remarkable documentary and an amazing music film" (The Telegraph)
"Jarringly powerful documentary on a rags-to-riches Congolese street band... disturbing and inspirational" (The Hollywood Reporter)
Staff Benda Bilili appeared live from Cannes on major French TV talk show Le Grand Journal (Canal+), and glowing reviews have started appearing all over (see for example the full page in Libération)
Devoted to the band's extraordinary story, this is the film on which French directors Renaud Barret and Florent de la Tullaye (aka Belle Kinoise) have been working on for the past 5 years, ever since they encountered the band in Kinshasa.
The film shows the band's journey from the sidewalks of Kinshasa to the stages of large European concert halls and festivals, and features performances of many songs from Staff's popular "Très Très Fort" album, which came out last year on Crammed (and has just won Staff Benda Bilili the Songlines Award for "Best Group of 2010").
Staff Benda Bilili attended the premiere (on the opening night of the prestigious Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors' Fortnight) at Cannes), and performed a show at the Quinzaine party after the screening. The band will be staying in Cannes for several days, and worldwide media are already conducting dozens of interviews with them.
See some photos from the post-screening gig: http://www.quinzaine-realisateurs.com/le-staff-benda-bilili-enflamme-la-croisette-l5.html
Staff Benda Bilili will be performing over 50 dates around Europe this summer.
Watch this space for more news !