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The Rumba Kings

Directed by Alan Brain
Peru, USA
94 minutes
All Ages
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The stirring history of the Congolese rumba, a fusion of African rhythms and Afro-Cuban music that created an electrifying beat and inspired a nation to independence.
In the 1950s, the Democratic Republic of the Congo was under harsh Belgian rule. A generation of Léopoldville (now Kinshasa) and Brazzaville musicians decided to use popular music to fight colonial oppression. They created the Congolese rumba, an infectious groove that lifted their community's spirits. Outstanding performers such as Franco Luambo and the OK Jazz Orchestra, Le Grand Kallé, and Dr. Nico and the African Jazz Orchestra created music that was rousing – and made for dancing. The evocative archive footage in Alan Brain's compelling film showcases the amazingly gifted musicians, as well as the era's cool style. In 1960, rumba musicians wowed Europe and influenced the establishment, and the ‘Indépendance Cha Cha' became the soundtrack to Congo's historic declaration of independence.
This film shows that rumba is the bearer of life, enthusiasm and hope… Better than simply the soundtrack of resistance, Congolese rumba is resistance itself.
Vladimir Cagnolari, Pan African Music


Sat 6 Nov
Dendy Newtown 1
Past Event Cancel
Tue 9 Nov
Dendy Newtown 3
Past Event Cancel
Sun 14 Nov
Event Cinemas George St 5
Past Event Cancel
Sponsored By
Program Strand
Sounds on Screen, On Demand
All Ages
Peru, USA
In French and Lingala with English subtitles
Alan Brain
Monica Carlson, Alan Brain
Alan Brain, Cristopher Luna Victoria
Alan Brain
Documentary, Dance, Africa, Human Rights, Music
Company Credits
Festival Contact: Alan Brain
Official Website
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