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Jeremy Nicholas
Gramophone, March 2012

KINSHASA SYMPHONY (Documentary, 2010) (NTSC) 708308
KINSHASA SYMPHONY (Documentary, 2010) (Blu-ray, HD) 709004

Claus Wischmann’s leisurely documentary follows the progress of the choir and orchestra as they prepare for a huge open air concert…the film is also about the inhabitants of Kinshasa. Martin Baer’s photography, Peter Klum’s skilful editing and Pascal Capitolin’s soundscape capture the chaos, overcrowding, mud roads, ancient vehicles and pitiful living conditions all too vividly. Required viewing for all in the affluent West who take part in group musical activities at any level. © 2012 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Dan Morgan
MusicWeb International, February 2012

This is a well-crafted film, and there’s a palpable tension as all the strands are pulled together for the final concert. …the editing, it’s wonderfully poetic at times—a smile, a frown, a look of quiet contentment—the final frames especially so.

…the leisurely, unforced pace of this documentary is a pleasure from start to finish. As for Martin Baer’s cinematography, it’s always crisp and elegant, colours vibrant and images sharp; most welcome, though, is the refreshing lack of voice-overs or overt editorialising, so the film never becomes a political statement or polemic. An inspiring story, movingly told. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

John Sunier
Audiophile Audition, January 2012

This amazing and emotional film won Best Documentary at the New York Film Festival as well as awards at many other festivals. I think it qualifies for the best documentary of the year.

The German filmmakers do an outstanding job, with compelling editing and beautiful shots, accompanied by the highest fidelity audio surround track. The difficult daily lives of the symphony and chorus members are shown, including the many huge challenges they must deal with just to stay alive. One probably doesn’t need to be a music lover or to have played in an orchestra or sung in a choir in order to have the tears streaming down their face, seeing and hearing what these people have accomplished in spite of all their terrible obstacles. Truly inspiring! © 2012 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

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