Kinshasa Kids: New York Film Festival 2012

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New York Film Festival 2012: Kinshasa Kids

New York Film Festival 2012: Kinshasa Kids


Among the many inhabitants of the bustling Congolese capital of Kinshasa, there exists one particularly unfortunate subculture: street children exiled from their homes for supposedly being witches. This documentary-fiction hybrid follows one such group of outcasts as they try to make the best of a bad situation and start up a band with a former recording star. Director Marc-Henri Wajnberg’s heart is in the right place, and he gets some energetic, endearing performances out of his young cast members (one of them, a Michael Jackson obsessive, is a real scene-stealer). Yet the film never shakes an overall sense of improvisatory amateurishness, and at worst sinks to the cloying level of a Sally Struthers infomercial.—Keith Uhlich

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