A look at the relations between Brussels and Kinshasa through film – La Libre Afrique

Cinematek examined the links between Belgium and Congo, from June 23 to July 31. Through 25 films made here or there, from Matamata and Pilipili on On the way to the billion! passeth Pieces of identity and Long live Riva. (video extracts)

VSkeep going Hey! As a prelude to the 62nd anniversary of Congo’s independence, on June 30, Cinematek is offering a little over a month, from June 23 to July 31, a selection of 25 films offering a panorama of the 7th art connecting Brussels to Kinshasa, Kisangani. , Lubumbashi and Matonge, and other cities.

A program that unites Congolese from here and there as well as many DRC lovers. The occasion of “transcends the endless documentaries of the colonial era” or in the near and back, in particular, of the year 2020 which will go down in history as one that has seen the first film from the DRC presented in the official selection at the Cannes Film Festival. That was a great documentary On the way to the billion! (seen on 07/17) directed by Dieudo Hamadi, already known in his previous films Mother Colonel and Kinshasa Makambo and so on.

In the process, other young Congolese filmmakers will be able to showcase the extent of their talent: Nelson Makengo, Djo Munga, Clarisse Muvuba, Tshoper Kabambi, Ronnie Kabuika and Nganji Mutiri …

From “Matamata ug Pilipili” to “Juju Factory”

This journey of images, planned by producer and lecturer Monique Mbeka Phoba, includes 22 films and as many episodes of a constantly turbulent story between Belgium and Congo. Back to the famous series of Matamata and Pilipili (06/29) produced by Albert Van Haelst, a Laurel and Hardy-style duo whose flaws and humor delighted the whole of Congo during the missionary period. By sharing This is a beautiful cake! animated film (01/07) referring to the same colonial period. Or by discovering the image of Paul Panda Farnanathe first Congolese to graduate with higher education in Belgium.

Others, such as the elders Balufu Bakupa Kanyinda and Mweze Ngangura, then took over, giving their view of the relationship between Congolese and Belgian through films such as The Checkerboard (28/06), Juju Factory (07/20) o Life is beautiful. This last feature can be found, in a resaturated version, in Flagey to be the programming link Cameras from sub-Saharan Africa to arrive, until 08/27, is proposed by Cinematek.

On June 30, we’ll see the amazing Pieces of identity by Mweze Ngangura who sensitively discusses the theme of exile and the search for a Congolese father trying to find his missing daughter in Brussels. The film was crowned Gold Stallion at Fespaco in 1998.

In the heart of the Matonge district

Some of the films explore much of the African district of Brussels where shops, hairdressing salons and restaurants maintain ties with distant countries. With Matonge, an African neighborhood in the heart of Europe by Pat Patoma and Abel Pulusu (7/7) and wilderness by Pieter Van Hees (10/07), the imagination of cinema-Brussels is revealed through the refuge places that symbolize the soul of this colorful corner of Ixelles.

Other historic moments: 1974, the Congolese team was the first from black Africa to go to the World Cup, an event traced to the documentary Between the Cup and the election (07/15). In the same year, Kinshasa hosted the Ali-Forman fight, an event narrated in the film When We Are King (07/11). In the end, African middleweights (29/06) reveals the brutality of another boxer Bea Diallo.

The opportunity also to (re) see Viva Riva by Djo Munga (25/07) who made a lot of noise when it was released in 2010 or at the discovery of young shoots like Nganji Mutiri, director of the feature film Juwaa (07/14). The link is also traced to the younger generation growing up in Belgium, especially by far more Kaniama Show by multi-talented artist Baloji (07/15). Without forgetting Ata Ndele! and Female Truth with determined Afro-feminist views (07/28) or reflections around Roots, language and identity (23/06).

This program created by Monique Mbeka Phoba, an avid viewer at Cinematek, continues through the resonances of the creations of three artists involved in the DRC: Jean Kabuta, Agnès Lalau and Mega Migiendi (see our previous article). Their works, set in the Europa lounge, continue the sketched journey between Brussels and Kinshasa, and back.

Karin Tshidimba

nb: Each film is presented at least twice at Cinematek. Only the first screening date is shown in the article. Information. and tickets: Cinematek.be

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