85 minutes, 1987, Congo / Belgium Director: Mweze Ngangura and Benoit Lamy in French with English subtitles
ABOUT THE FILM
La Vie est Belle takes us inside the vibrant music scene of Kinshasa, the Congo's exhilarating and exasperating capital whose back alleys and clubs pulsate to the beat of some of the most influential music in the world. The film, starring Soukous music legend Papa Wemba, tells the "rags to riches" story of a poor country musician who seeks fame in the city's vibrant music industry. This lively farce illustrates the Congolese faith in Systeme-D or debrouillardise, fending for yourself to survive in the face of overwhelming obstacles. If there is a commercial cinema in Africa's future, then La Vie est Belle may be one of its precursors.
"A genial musical offering and insightful look at Zaire."
New York Times
"Joyful entertainment!...Papa Wemba has the appeal of a young Harry Belafonte."
"Like Black Orpheus, La Vie Est Belle is a fairy tale embellished by joyous music and phantasmagorical images"