Kinshasa Symphony

I got my yellow fever vaccination boosted on July 6, and have been preparing documentation to apply for a Visa. There are five or six Congo Reflections posts in the archives now, and you may want to take a look at those.

I went to my local public library where I like to pick up films out of the foreign section, and as I was on my way to look for a movie, perhaps in French to brush up on listening to that language, I was walking past the documentary section, glanced down, and this title jumped off the shelf at me. “Kinshasa Symphony.”

So I watched it. Twice. This 2010 film follows a group of Congolese through the slums as they perform everyday duties; one woman works as a wedding decorator (can that be a steady job?) while some of the men run pharmacies and barbershops; then, in the evening they gather to rehearse for the biggest symphonic performance that the Congo has perhaps ever seen.

Sometimes my friends ask “what is the purpose of art?” Why not do something productive?

The people in this documentary answer that question in the simplest of language. Find a copy of it. I highly recommend it.


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The author lives in Goshen, Indiana with his wife and four children. He is self-employed as a leadership coach working with business executives, writers and other artists, and spiritual leaders. His clients enjoy business growth, increased vision and purpose, work/family lifestyle balance, and freedom from writer’s block.

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