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This film is followed by a prerecorded Q&A.


Since its inception in the 1940s, Congolese Rumba has invited its listeners to get on their feet, dance and feel joy. Brain’s film combines concert footage, interviews and archival images (featuring both fabulous fashions and infectious dance moves) to document the history of this melodic, magical style known as “the calling card of the Congo.” In a region better known for oppressive regimes, violently contested mineral wealth and the harsh colonial suppression of anything African, a group of Leopoldville musicians decided to build something unique. Reworking extremely popular Cuban songs, these sound alchemists added traditional elements and produced a new, repatriated, African form of jazz. Featuring intricate techniques and a unique three-guitar format, Congolese Rumba has shared stories of the working class and independence, and made its stars “bigger than the Beatles or the Rolling Stones” across the continent. The Rumba Kings is a stirring story of “a people who decided to fight oppression with music.” -SC


Community Partner

  • Year
    2021
  • Runtime
    94 minutes
  • Language
    French, Lingala
  • Country
    Peru
  • Premiere
    World
  • Director
    Alan Brain
  • Producer
    Monica Carlson