Traveling up and down the majestic Congo river on a rickety boat, the young orphan Antoine ‘Wendo’ Kolosoy composed his first songs on a beat up old guitar. As his talent was revealed and his reputation grew, the government banned his music, fearful the joyful rhythms would stir unrest.
Wendo’s first album, released in 1948, made him the superstar of Congolese Rumba. But as Congo suffered under the dictator Mobutu, he was reduced to beggarhood. In the late 1990s, older and wiser, Wendo made his comeback. Featuring stunning images and unforgettable music and interviews, this enjoyable film joins Wendo as he journeys across Congo, playing his joyful music and searching for old band-mates. On the Rumba River is “an eye-opening view into the spirit of the Congolese people, and a beautiful and warm-hearted portrait of a singer who seems at times the beating heart of a country” (Chris Barsanti, Film Journal International).
"Buoyant and soulful."- Time Out New York
"You don’t have to be a fan of African tunes to appreciate this heartfelt ode to Congolese music and its resilient practitioners. Alternately poignant and playful...effervescent music!" - The New York Times