Bio-Pic Pays Tribute to Legendary Congolese Musician Wendo Kolosoy
In Lingala with subtitles.
Running time: 82 minutes
Studio: First Run Features
Film Review by Kam Williams
Very Good (3 stars)
Born in Northern Congo in 1925, Antoine Kolosoy, divided his
youth between honing his skills at boxing and playing the
guitar. Roaming up and down the Congo River on his ramshackle
raft, he acquired the nickname Wendo while developing a loyal
musical following, despite having his songs banned by the Church
and the Belgian bureaucrats who had colonized his homeland.
It would even survive the blighted nation's decades of post independence suffering marked by poverty, oppression and civil war, during which Wendo's brand of Rumba would serve to sustain the spirits of the Congolese people. Ultimately, the venerable cultural icon did fall on hard times, and was temporarily reduced to begging for tips until mounting a successful comeback in the 1990s.
On the Rumba River, a retrospective directed by Jacques
Sarasin (I'll Sing for You), is an endearing mix of
reminiscences and impromptu concerts by Wendo and some of his
former sidemen, all of whom are by now senior citizens up there
in years. Plus, the picture features plenty of compelling
cinematography guaranteed to give the uninformed a good idea of
what life might be like in a land where over four million souls
have perished in a neverending cycles of exploitation and ethnic