SCHEDULE

The 10th Anniversary Edition of Congo in Harlem showcases a diverse and absorbing collection of narrative and documentary films in addition to filmmaker Q&A's, musical performances and special panel presentations. During the series, tickets are available at the Maysles Cinema box office for a $10 suggested donation. The box office is open 1 hour prior to event start time. Advance tickets are available online through the links below.

Series Pass for $50 will be available for purchase and grants access to all screenings and events throughout Congo in Harlem, subject to standard ticket rules and restrictions. Pass holder must arrive at the cinema at least 20 minutes to secure a seat in the main screening room. For sold out shows, overflow seating will be available in a simulcast area.

 

Sunday, 10/14, 6:00PM

KINSHASA MAKAMBO
Dir. Dieudo Hamadi

FREE OFF-SITE EVENT!
PEP People's Forum, 320 West 37th Street
+ panel w/ special guests and reception

+ More About the Film

KINSHASA MAKAMBO
Dir. Dieudo Hamadi
Documentary, 2018, 75 min.
Lingala & French, w/ English subtitles

In January 2015, Congo erupted in demonstrations when President Joseph Kabila sought a constitutional amendment to extend his leadership for a third term. Kinshasa Makambo documents this tenuous moment, still unfolding in current politics, through the stories of three members of the resistance. There is Ben, who lives in exile in New York, follows the advice of his countrymen and returns to Congo to join the struggle; Jean Marie, who has just been released from prison, and continues to speak out despite threats from the secret service; and Christian, who fights in the streets of Kinshasa, even after the death of opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi dashes hopes for a viable candidate.

Should one resist in exile, or fight on the ground in the Congo? Should resistance be non-violent or should force be used if required? Filmed with a handheld camera that stays very close to the protagonists, even in precarious conditions, Dieudo Hamadi explores these questions, capturing a critical moment in the future of Congo.

Followed by panel discussion and Opening Night reception

Wednesday, 10/17, 7:30PM

MAKI'LA
Dir. Machérie Ekwa Bahango

+ More About the Film

MAKI'LA
Dir. Machérie Ekwa Bahango
Narrative, 2018, 78 Min.
Lingala & French, w/ English subtitles

Nineteen-year-old Maki’la, nicknamed Maki, has been living on the streets since she was 13, and has long been friends with young hoodlum Mbingazor, who has become the boss of a criminal gang. The two end up getting married; however, the relationship is founded on exploitation and violence and soon leaves Maki feeling trapped. She manages to escape and goes into hiding, when she meets Acha, a 12-year-old who has recently wound up on the streets herself after losing her parents. Soon the two forge a close bond, though Mbingazor, angrier than ever, is close behind.

Thursday, 10/18, 7:30PM

I'M NEW HERE
Dir. Bram Van Paesschen

+ More About the Film

I'M NEW HERE
Dir. Bram Van Paesschen
Documentary, 2017, 92 Min.
Swahili, Lingala, French, Cantonese, Mandarin & English w/ English subtitles

For many years, Guangzhou, China has been the Eldorado for African migrants, who chase their fortune shipping cheap Chinese goods back to their home countries. I'm New Here is a rare glimpse into the lives of Congolese entrepreneurs residing in Tian Xiu, a massive communist-style apartment building that has become the landing strip for Africans in China. Some of the entrepreneurs adapt quickly, learning the language, building relationships, and earning quick money. Others are not so lucky -- left empty-handed by constantly changing laws, miscommunications, and outright racism. I'm New Here is a poignant human portrait of the expanding economic relationship between China and the African continent.


Friday, 10/19, 7:30PM

E'VILLE, Dir. Nelson Makengo
CHE IN CONGO, Dir. Ben Crowe

 

+ Q&A w/ filmmaker
 BUY TICKETS

+ More About the Films

E'VILLE
Dir. Nelson Makengo
Documentary, 2018, 10 Min.
French w/ English subtitles

Welcome to “E'Ville”, short for Elisabethville until the city was renamed Lubumbashi in 1960. Filmmaker Nelson Makengo takes viewers on an introspective journey through the abandoned ruins of a Gécamines mining facility, set to the haunting soundtrack of Patrice Lumumba's final letter to his wife Pauline, written shortly before his assassination in E'Ville.

CHE IN CONGO: A DREAM OF LIBERATION
Dir. Ben Crowe
Documentary, 2017, 67 min.
Spanish & French w/ English subtitles

In 1965 Che Guevara undertook a secret mission to DR Congo to support the liberation movement. Fifty years later, Che in Congo takes viewers on an epic journey to Belgium, Cuba, Tanzania, and eastern Congo in search of those who fought alongside and against this global icon. There is the Belgian mercenary, who looks back on his years fighting in Congo as the “best of his life”, and also the Cuban generals and Congolese soldiers, who share their personal memories of Che. These recollections, paired with archival footage, are strikingly juxtaposed with present day encounters, offering clues for Congo's future amid its storied past.

Post-screening Q&A with filmmaker Ben Crowe and other special guests



Saturday, 10/20, 1:00PM

ONE.TWO.THREE, Dir. Vincent Meessen
OUR AFRICA, Dir. Alexander Markov

 

+ More About the Films

ONE.TWO.THREE.
Dir. Vincent Meessen
Documentary, 2016, 36 Min.
French w/ English subtitles

One.Two.Three. explores the little-known participation of Congolese intellectuals in the Situationist International movement, as told through the experience of Joseph M’Belolo, a student in Belgium at the height of the movement. The film, presented as a triptych, becomes an experimental space for the reworking of a protest song M’Belolo wrote in 1968, now performed by female musicians in the legendary Un Deux Trois nightclub, once home to the legendary Franco and his band OK Jazz. As M’Belolo’s lost song is rediscovered, popular uprisings break out in Kinshasa, evoking the repetitive cycles of injustice and resistance.

OUR AFRICA
Dir. Alexander Markov
Documentary, 2018, 45 min.
Russian, French, English, Portuguese, & Swahili, w/ English subtitles

In the mid-1960s, the USSR starts Marxist-based humanitarian aid programs in Congo and several other newly independent African nations. Soviet filmmakers are sent along to document the glorious advance of socialism, generating an archive of material that captures a pivotal moment for the entire continent. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia lost political interest in Africa, but the films shot on African soil remain. Drawing on this rare archive augmented by impeccable sound design, Our Africa recreates the time of the “Great Utopia”, and in the process exposes the mechanisms at play in the creation of propaganda.


Saturday, 10/20, 3:00PM

SPECIAL PANEL DISCUSSION: CULTURAL PASSAGES

 

FREE EVENT!

+ More About the Event

Special Panel Discussion
CULTURAL PASSAGES: Exploring the cultural and political connections between Congo and the Americas, past and present


The Saturday afternoon discussion will explore the presence of Congolese culture in the Americas from the period of enslavement to the present. In addition, the panelists will discuss the role that African Americans have played in the anti-colonial struggle of the Congolese people from the era of the brutal rule of King Leopold II of Belgium through the post independence period. The discussion will be preceded by Congolese dance and drumming.

Panelists include Professor Ira Dworkin (author, Congo Love Song: African American Culture and the Crisis of the Colonial State) and others TBA

Moderated by Lubangi Muniania (Tabilulu Productions)
















Saturday, 10/20, 7:00PM

FÉLICITÉ
Dir. Alain Gomis

+ reception w/ live music
BUY TICKETS

+ More About the Film

FÉLICITÉ
Dir. Alain Gomis
Narrative, 2017, 123 min.
Lingala & French w/ English subtitles

Félicité is a proud and independent woman who works as a singer in a bar in Kinshasa. Whenever she goes on stage, she appears to leave the world and her everyday worries behind. Her audiences are quickly infected by the rhythm of her music and her powerful, melancholy melodies. But then one day Félicité’s son has a terrible accident. Whilst he is in hospital she desperately tries to raise the money needed for his operation. A breathless tour through the impoverished streets and the wealthier districts of the Congolese capital ensues. One of the bar’s regulars is a man named Tabu who has been known to get carried away in every sense of the term. Tabu offers to help Félicité. Reluctantly, she accepts. After his spell in hospital, Félicité’s son has a hard time picking up his old life, but it is lady’s man Tabu of all people who manages to coax him out of his shell. Félicité’s sparsely furnished flat with its permanently defunct fridge becomes a mini utopia in a country that holds no hope for most of its population. The trio forms an eccentric community thrown together by fate, each of whom is free to go their separate ways together.

Followed by reception w/ live music from Nkumu Katalay & the Life Long Project band

Sunday, 10/21, 3:00PM

THE MINISTER OF GARBAGE
Dir. Quentin Noirfalisse

+ More About the Film

THE MINISTER OF GARBAGE
Dir. Quentin Noirfalisse
Documentary, 2016, 75 Min.
French w/ English subtitles

Some see him as a madman, others as a genius. Sharp-eyed, nimble-fingered, polio-stricken Emmanuel Botalatala is Kinshasa’s “Minister of Garbage”. At 64, Botalatala is nearly penniless, but he is still driven to create politically conscious artwork crafted entirely from the trash spewed forth by Kinshasa’s 10 million residents. Now conscious of his own mortality, he dreams of creating a cultural center to house his work. As the film unfolds, his unique creative vision becomes proxy for the vital role of art in a nation’s search for identity.

Sunday, 10/21, 6:00PM

*CLOSING NIGHT CELEBRATION*
AN EVENING WITH BALOJI!

+ Q&A w/ Baloji and reception w/ live music
BUY TICKETS

+ More About the Event

AN EVENING WITH BALOJI!

“I see music in colors”. Multi-talented rapper-singer-artist Baloji, whose upbringing spans continents and cultures, shares a selection of his music videos and short films. Among the selections are his debut fictional short, Kaniama Show, a blistering satire of African television propaganda, and his eponymous music video, Peau de Chagrin/Bleu de Nuit, a collaboration with South African photographer Kristin-Lee Moolman that explores indigenous Congolese wedding traditions in a panoply of color.

Post-screening Q&A w/ Baloji + Closing Night reception w/ live music