OPENING NIGHT SCREENING + PANEL
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
Panelists (including Director Dieudo Hamadi and film subject Jean Marie Kalonji via Skype) will discuss the film and the role that Congolese youth have played in resisting the attempts by the Kabila government to install a dictatorship in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The panelists will explore the challenges and dangers of making the film in an environment where government security forces fire live bullets and tear gas at protesters with impunity. An on the ground point of view will be shared by one of the film's protagonist. Finally, the panelists will discuss concrete solidarity actions that can be taken to support the vibrant social justice movement unfolding in the Congo.
Dieudo Hamadi was born in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo, in 1984 and studied Medicine from 2005-2008. He then attended several documentary workshops. His first films were two short documentaries, "Ladies In Waiting" and "Zero Tolerance," which caught the attention of several festivals in Europe (Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam) and Canada (Toronto). "Ladies In Waiting" received the Pierre and Yolande Perrault scholarship at Cinema du Réel (Paris) in 2009. In 2013, with "Atalaku," his first feature documentary about the 2011 election campaign in the Congo, he won the Joris Ivens award for best first film, presented by Marceline Loridan (Cinema du Réel), Best Foreign Film at the San Diego Black Film Festival (USA), the Jury Prize at FIDADOC (Agadir, Morocco). In 2014, his second feature-length documentary, "National Diploma," received both the International Prize at SCAM and the Potemkin Award at Cinéma du Réel (France), and was an official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2017, his last film, "Mama Colonel," was selected for the Berlinale Forum where it won two awards, before screening at nearly 80 festivals worldwide, and winning 15 awards including the Grand Prize from Cinéma du Réel 2017.
Jean Marie Kalonji is a 29 year-old human rights activist based in Kinshasa, DRC. He holds a degree in International Law from Université Libre de Kinshasa (ULK). He is the coordinator of Quatrieme Voix, a civil society organization based in Kinshasa. He has organized and mobilized Congolese youth to understand their role and responsibility as citizens in resolving local issues from street sanitation to electoral politics.
Kambale Musavuli, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is a human rights activist, Student Coordinator and National Spokesperson with the Friends of the Congo. He has written for The Washington Post, Foreign Policy in Focus, The Huffington Post and numerous other academic and news publications. He has been interviewed on National Public Radio, Democracy Now, ABC News, Al Jazeera English Television, Radio France International and a myriad of radio and television programs. He has been featured in documentaries such as Iara Lee’s “Cultures of Resistance,” Martin Scorsese’s “Surviving Progress,” and the film “Crisis in the Congo: Uncovering the Truth.”
Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Patricia Lokwa Servant is a Congolese American radio host of CongoLive!. She left the Congo at the age of 8 and has lived in West Africa, particularly Senegal before moving to the United States in her teenage years. She has four years of experience at Crossway Community (CC) in The Family Leadership Academy (FLA) a Montessori educational program designed to give single, economically disadvantaged mothers the tools they need to become effective parents and prepare them to succeed in education, in the workplace, and in the global economy.
As a host of CongoLive, she brings a cultural perspective of growing up in both Africa and the United States. Congo Love: Founded in 2015 by Congo Live Radio host Patricia Lokwa, Congo Love has been in action in supporting and organizing Afro Rumba Night in Washington DC, Congo in Harlem in New York and Congo Love Soccer Tournament in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and participating in the Launch of ‘KONGO: Power & Majesty” at the metropolitan museum of art.
Zachariah Mampilly is Professor of Political Science, Africana Studies and International Studies at Vassar College. In 2012/2013, he was a Fulbright Visiting Professor at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He is the author of Rebel Rulers: Insurgent Governance and Civilian Life during War (Cornell U. Press 2011) and with Adam Branch, Africa Uprising: Popular Protest and Political Change (African Arguments, Zed Press 2015). He is the coeditor of Rebel Governance in Civil Wars (Cambridge U. Press 2015) with Ana Arjona and Nelson Kasfir; and Peacemaking: From Practice to Theory(Praeger 2011) with Andrea Bartoli and Susan Allen Nan.
After the film and discussion, a reception will include:
Music from Mahina Movement
Mahina taken from the Tongan word, Moon, and from the Spanish word, ImagÌne, Mahina Movement is Gabriella Callender, Lorena Ambrosio and vaimoana litia makakaufaki niumeitolu . Their Cultures (African American, Peruvian, Tongan) and communities, inspire them to create songs, (music that fuses folk, blues and Hip Hop) poems, dances and/or movement and paintings (sometimes live!) to raise awareness and visibility around political and social injustices, to celebrate and encourage a consciousness, and most definitely, to Represent!
Poetry from Irene N.L. N’Kanza
N’Kanza is an international, multicultural, multilingual poet, spoken word artist, dramatist, writer, author and humanist from the vast Democratic Republic of Congo, who states to have “fallen in love with writing since I knew how to formulate sentences in Elementary School.” She wrote her first little book of poems in grade school at the age of seven alongside her other classmates, dedicated to their respective mother in honor of Mother’s Day. N’Kanza put a pause on her poetry recitals to finish writing her first anthology of poems entitled, “FOREVER AFRICA, MY LOVE!,” which was published in 2015 and which she dedicates to her parents, grandparents and ancestors, as well as to the entire continent of Africa. Upon publishing “Forever Africa, My Love!” in 2015, N’Kanza was an official candidate for the internationally recognized Pulitzer Prize award. N’Kanza is currently in the process of finishing the play she started to write a couple of years ago on universal domestic violence, femicide and on female gender, as well as children’s rape, sexual assault and violence, which she hopes to have published in 2019.