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Congo in Harlem 4 Series Pass
Maysles Cinema
New York City, NY
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Event

Congo in Harlem 4 Series Pass
Sunday, October 14th, 3:00PM

'The Chebeya Affair: A State Crime?'

Dir. Thierry Michel, 2012. 94 min.
In English, French, and Lingala with English subtitles

On June 2, 2010, Congolese human rights activist Floribert Chebeya was called to meet with Congo's national chief of police. Later that day, he was found dead in the backseat of his car. Before Chebeya's death, the police had been threatening him for his strong denouncement of the current regime in Kinshasa -- and now several high-level police officials are suspects in his murder. The Chebeya Affair follows their trial, uncovering a trail of lies, denials, forgeries, disappearing evidence. Will the judicial authority be capable of exercising impartial justice?



Monday, October 15th, 7:30PM

'Cuba: An African Odyssey'

Dir. Jihan El-Tahri, 2007. 118 min.
In English and French with English subtitles

From Che Guevara's military campaign to avenge Lumumba in the Congo up to the fall of apartheid in South Africa, 300,000 Cubans fought alongside African revolutionaries. Cuba, an African Odyssey is the previously untold story of Cuba's support for African revolutions, one of the Cold War's most vigorous contests over resources and ideology.

Screening followed by discussion with filmmaker Jihan El-Tahri


Tuesday, October 16th, 7:30PM

Co-Presented by Panzi Foundation USA

'Justice For Sale'

Dir. Ilse & Femke Van Velsen, 2011, 83 min.
Justice for Sale, the third installment of a trilogy exploring sexual violence in Congo, follows Claudine Tsongo, a young human rights lawyer fighting to acquit a Congolese soldier accused of rape. Claudine and the filmmakers gather testimony from an array of experts and witnesses, and present a compelling case for the soldier's innocence. The miscarriage of justice they uncover prompts an investigation into a corrupted Congolese legal system, where nobody is innocent.



Wednesday, October 17th, 7:30PM

'Back to Mandima'

Dir. Robert-Jan Lancombe, 2011. 40 min.
In French and Swahili with English subtitles

"Back to Mandima, to find my village and my three best friends in the heart of the Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. An attempt to bring closure to an ideal, idealized childhood and free myself from its spells. In the meantime there was a war, a vanish of time, 15 years. Nothing changed? Everything has. What is friendship, beyond skin colour, when one can take the plane and the other can't? When one uses 'tu' and the other 'vous'?"
-Robert-Jan Lancombe


'Footprints of My Other'

Dir. Claude Haffner, 2011. 52 min.
In English and French with English subtitles

Claude Haffner, daughter of a French father and Congolese mother, sets off for Congo in search of her African identity. Her starting point is the archive of photos left by her late father, a specialist in African cinema. She also speaks with her mother, who tells of life in Congo and adjusting to France. In 2004, Claude and her mother visited Congo for the first time since the family left in 1981. This experience has inspired Claude to return again, now alone, to deepen her relationship with her mother's family. Her journey brings her face to face with the diamond trade, and with her sense of otherness, both in Congo and back home in France.



Thursday, October 18th, 7:30PM

'Episode III: Enjoy Poverty'

Dir. Renzo Martens, 2009. 94 min.
In English, French, and Swahili with English subtitles

In Episode III: Enjoy Poverty, Dutch artist Renzo Martens asserts that the greatest natural resource in Congo -- a country that has received billions of dollars in foreign aid -- is poverty. Employing a provocative mix of satire, investigative journalism, and personal diary, Martens embarks on a visionary quest to awaken the Congolese people to the value of their poverty. Sometimes humorous, often troubling, always sharp Enjoy Poverty presents an incisive parable on western guilt, exploitation, and the international aid complex.

Screening followed by discussion with filmmaker Renzo Martens


Friday, October 19th, 7:30PM

'White Elephant'

Dir. Kristof Bilsen, 2011. 35 min.
In French and Lingala with English subtitles

Somebody passed by one day: "Mama, does the Post really work? If I leave this letter with you, will it ever arrive?" I told him: "of course it will."  He started laughing. "I know for sure it will never reach its destination." White Elephant depicts Congo's central post office and its employees. The postal system, a grandiose relic of Congo's colonial past, has trapped its employees in a Kafkaesque time warp. From the minutia of leaky ceilings and cracked walls to the employees' grand dreams for escape, Bilsen captures a vivid snapshot of life in present day Congo.


'Atalaku'
(Special Work-in-Progress Screening)

Dir. Dieudonne Hamadi, 2012. 62 min.
In French and Lingala with English subtitles

Atalaku offers an insider view into Congo's 2011 presidential elections. Gaylor, a struggling pastor, has sold his services to the highest paying candidate. As Gaylor attempts to mobilize voters in Kinshasa's gritty streets, filmmaker Dieudonne Hamadi's lens is in the fray, never missing a beat. The atmosphere is charged, and Gaylor comes face to face with the Congolese people's discontent. When elections finally do arrive, the nation's vast poverty besieges the polls, plunging a suspect electoral process into chaos.

Screening followed by discussion with filmmakers Kristof Bilsen and Dieudonne Hamadi. Reception with live music by Isaac Katalay.

Performer Bio:

Isaac Katalay
Born in Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and now living in New York City, Isaac Katalay's music represents the blending of two worlds. For the past two decades, Isaac has worked as an ensemble musician, choreographer, dancer, and speaker. His style is a distinctive blend of contemporary and traditional Congolese dance moves and aesthetics, which he calls "contemptra". Isaac is also founder of the "Life Long Project" and co-founder of the "Karibu" movement, both of which promote Congolese music and culture in the US.


Saturday, October 20th, 7:30PM

Animation by Jean Michel Kibushi

Dir. Jean Michel Kibushi, 70 min.
In French with English subtitles

Using a magical blend of drawings, cutouts, models, and claymation, Jean Michel Kibushi summons a collective vision of Congo, past and present. For his subject matter, Kibushi draws on traditional Congolese folktales, social struggle, and political history. Each film is a mini-world unto itself, sprung forth from Kibushi's brilliant imagination to celebrate Congo's rich local culture and offer socio-political critique. Due to Kibushi's focus on his work in Congo, these films have rarely been screened in the US, and we are honored to present them at Congo in Harlem.

Screening followed by discussion with Jean Michel Kibushi. Reception featuring musical performances by Alesh and Isaac Katalay.

Performer Bios:  

Alesh
Hailing from Kisangani, and currently based in Kinshasa, Alesh is a committed rapper and rising star in Congo's hip hop scene. Alesh's debut album, Mort Dans L'ame (2010), is a hard-hitting fusion of hip-hop, rock, folk, and Ndomblo (Congolese pop), which has earned him numerous awards and recognitions. In 2011, he teamed up with Nomadic Wax to release the music video "Reveil: The Awakening". This bold song spoke truth to corruption during the 2011 presidential elections, and was subsequently banned throughout Congo. He is currently in the US to perform on the OneBeat Tour and complete his second album, African (R)evolution, with Nomadic Wax.

Isaac Katalay
Born in Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and now living in New York City, Isaac Katalay's music represents the blending of two worlds. For the past two decades, Isaac has worked as an ensemble musician, choreographer, dancer, and speaker. His style is a distinctive blend of contemporary and traditional Congolese dance moves and aesthetics, which he calls "contemptra". Isaac is also founder of the "Life Long Project" and co-founder of the "Karibu" movement, both of which promote Congolese music and culture in the US.



Sunday, October 21st, 10:00am

*Special Children's Program*

'Film Voyagers: Congo'

Dir. Jean Michel Kibushi, 60 min.
In French with English subtitles read by professional actors
A selection of Jean Michel Kibushi's animations intended for children aged 3-7. This screening is being offered as part of Maysles Cinema's Film Voyagers series, a weekly film program for young children. All subtitles will be read aloud by professional actors. It'll be a fun morning in a cozy theater with complimentary organic popcorn.



Sunday, October 21st, 3:00pm

'Ota Benga'

Dir. Alfeu França, 2002, 16 min.
Ota Benga was a pygmy who was brought from the Belgian Congo to the US to be exhibited in the 1904 World's Fair. França presents Ota Benga's tragic story to a haunting stream of archival images and animation, offering a cautionary tale of colonial-era racism and exploitation.


'Boma Turvuren: The Voyage'

Dir. Francis Dujardin, 1999. 84 min.
In French with English subtitles
In 1897, 267 Congolese were brought to Brussels for the World's Fair. Subjected to the crushing gaze of the whites and the cold climate, many fell to disease and some lost their lives. One hundred years later, Congolese scholars return to the scene, revisiting a legacy of stereotypes and mistreatment, prompting the question "How is today different?"

Discussion

Location

Maysles Cinema (View)
343 Lenox Ave.
New York City, NY 10027
United States


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