Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Viva Riva! - Film Noir from Kinshasa's ghetto

Tired of just hearing about killing and suffering from the Congo? Viva Riva!, the newly released Congolese gangster movie, is laced with brutality and sex, but reveals another side of the Congo. 

Viva Riva! is a genre movie set in Kinshasa - imagine Sergio Leone meets Quentin Tarantino in the grimy backstreets of Masina's slums . But in Lingala with (almost) all Congolese actors. Directed by Djo Munga, the owner of the only movie production studio in Kinshasa, Viva Riva! has already been awarded numerous prizes, including sweeping the African Movie Academy Awards in Nigeria and winning accolades at the Berlin and Toronto film festivals. Notably, it also got rave reviews when Djo screened it at Halle de la Gombe in Kinshasa.

This, I believe, is the first major feature film shot in Kinshasa in two decades. Djo scrounged together over a million dollars in funding from all over, brought in acting coaches from Europe but used an almost exclusively Congolese cast - Riva is a local musician and many of the actors come from local theater troupes.

Viva Riva! will be shown in Los Angeles May 18-24, San Francisco May 25, Seattle May 26-27, NYC May 28-June 1. Tell your friends. (For the US trailer, which I don't like quite as much, go here).

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, the US trailer is horrible, though I am not surprised. Can't wait to see this when it arrives in Seattle. Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding? The US trailer is way better than the one posted here...

Anonymous said...

As a Congolese, I find this movie a disgrace for my country. Although it is true that what it being told here is the real thing happening but yet I wonder what a positive impact it's going to make to my people. Millions of dollars funded for this movie?? I think it could have been invested in other things that can make a difference.

Anonymous said...

The trailer posted here is not the U.S. trailer. Click below to view the trailer.
http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/vivariva/

Anonymous said...

The people who made this movie - and the fools who chose to give awards to this movie - should be ashamed for their part in helping to continue the evil practices coming out of the DRC. Why anyone would make a movie glorifying the gross oversexualization and outright whoring of congolese women in the most gross and gratuitous manner - particularly after the RECENT, extreme BRUTALITY, and unbelievable inhumanity of a war in the DRC that left almost 80% of the women there brutally raped and sexually molested - is beyond any evil I've heard of in a very long time.

If anything, after the horrible practices that cam out of the DRC's war, you would think the very first film from that country in decades would be something trying to uplift the minds of the people there - instead, this African "movie minstrel" chose to continue to degrade his own women, stripping them naked and casting them as utter whores to the entire world, and degrade his own men as pimps and gangsters. Absolute trash that only former colonialist Europe could applaud as something good fro Africa. Pure evil, and I'm glad I walked out.

I would suggest that any self-respecting African (and Black Americans) avoid this trash movie like the plague. Absolute trash.

Anonymous said...

As a self respecting African, I am glad that GOOD filmmaking is making a resurgence in the DRC.
THIS “particular” filmmaker was passionate about THIS story in “particular”.
There are different genres that cater to different tastes. If this is not your cup of tea, don’t try to burn him at the stake.
I can sympathize with the notion that there are unbearable atrocities committed on a daily basis in the DRC. That doesn’t mean that every single filmmaker out of that country needs to make films that somehow tackle these issues with a sensibility that will rub everyone the right way. And by making a film that is being awarded all sorts of prizes he actually manages to bring the spotlight to a country/conflict that is not always headlines news outside the DRC.
One last thing, I do find this film uplifting as it gives other AFRICAN filmmakers a platform from which to build. Another young African filmmaker might get inspired from watching the technical aspect of the film and he or she might want to make a film that is completely different from it. I for one will applaud them all as diversity enriches the soul.

mike said...

just to se i like congolais nouves is so good

Comment intégrer le béton sur la terrasse said...

great film .. love it

Anonymous said...

People chill its only a movie,why hate on something we all know is true,there people out there trying to make a living

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