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Hassouna Mansouri
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Hassouna Mansouri is Writer at Africiné Magazine

Machérie Ekwa Bahango, Congolese Filmmaker

Film still with Acha (Fideline Kwanza, face) and Maki (Amour Lombi)

Film still with Maki (Amour Lombi)

Film still

Film still

Film still

Maki and Mbingazor's blood oath

Shooting scene

Shooting scene

Berlinale 2018 Presentation, with the Director between translator and moderator

Berlinale Lunch, with Producer and Director, at 68th Berlinale

Machérie Ekwa Bahango, the Film Director

Berlinale 2018

Tosala Films

Africiné Magazine, the World Leader (Africa & Diaspora Films)

Maki'la dir. by Machérie Ekwa Bahango, a film Noir
World Premiered at Berlinale 2018 - Forum
Democratic Republic of the Congo / France 2018, Lingala, French, 78 min

Maki'la by Machérie Ekwa Bahango is a genre film with aspects drawn from the streets of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. These streets and the children who live in them, cut off from all family and social ties, are often the subject of a great deal of imagined reality; treated as sensationalised subjects, full of miserabilism and pity. The young Congolese filmmaker, who has just completed her very first feature film, constructs this subject matter into cinematographic material.

In the gangster movie genre where the hero is most often a man, Machérie Ekwa Bahango breaks with this rule from the very beginning. The hero is Maki, a young woman who fights as best she can to survive in the streets of Kinshasa. Married to Mbingazor, the leader of a gang of youth, she decides to set off on her own, finding neither satisfaction in the lifestyle of this group or in her relationship. Sent on her path by fate is Acha, another teenage girl lost in a soulless, unsparing Kinshasa. Their encounter is an important factor in the transformation of Maki's character, strengthened by a sense of responsibility. The group evolves outside of any interaction with society; guided by its own laws, like gangsters and mafia members in noir films. For instance, the wedding, used only as a model, is celebrated between friends by imitating/caricaturing the references of religious ritual. Similarly, each gang member is baptised according to a social stereotype.

At a certain moment, something clicks in Maki's mind, prompting her to no longer tolerate her companions' mode of existence: constant idleness, spending all their time smoking and drinking. There are subtle hints on the part of the director regarding the impasse and immobility that suffocate Congolese society. Maki's awakening/revolt emerges as a call for crucial change. Confronted with a system stronger than her, what can the young woman do? The revolving scenes of conflict, at times in direct combat with Mbingazor, who dictates the law, are like metaphors for social confrontations between a people eager for change and an illegitimate oppressive power.

by Hassouna Mansouri
A Special Report
translated from French by Beti Ellerson.
A collaboration with African Women in Cinema (Beti Ellerson)

LIRE l'article original (en français) sur Africiné Magazine

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   liens films

Maki'la 2018
Machérie Ekwa Bahango

   liens artistes

Ekwa Bahango Machérie

Lupia Emmanuel

Mbou Mikima Rufin

Radoux-Bazzini Philippe

Radoux-Bazzini Philippe

Wa Lusala Divita


15/02/2018 > 25/02/2018
festival |Allemagne |
Berlinale 2018 (68th Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin)
68ème édition

16/05/2018 > 10/06/2018
festival |États-Unis |
New York African Film Festival (Nyaff) 2018
25ème édition.

14/07/2018 > 22/07/2018
festival |Cameroun |
Ecrans Noirs 2018
22ème édition.

17/08/2018 > 25/08/2018
festival |France |
Gouel ar Filmoù / Festival de Cinéma de Douarnenez 2018
41ème édition. Festival culturel, festif et militant. Thème : Peuples des Congo(s).

23/08/2018 > 26/08/2018
festival |Suisse |
Festival cinémas d'Afrique - Lausanne 2018
13e édition

03/11/2018 > 10/11/2018
festival |Tunisie |
Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage - JCC 2018
29ème édition

07/03/2019 > 17/03/2019
festival |États-Unis |
15th Annual New African Films Festival (NAFF 2019)
15ème édition.

   liens structures

African Women in Cinema Blog

Africiné Magazine
Sénégal | Dakar

France | PARIS

Inzo ya Bizizi
République du Congo | Pointe Noire

Lennox Production
République démocratique du Congo | Kinshasa

Orange Studio
France | PARIS

Tosala Films
République démocratique du Congo

Vanuit het Zuiden (Depuis le Sud)

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