Congo in Harlem 2

Congo in Harlem 2 is the second annual series of Congo-related films and events at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem. This year’s program showcases a wide range of films by Congolese and international directors, representing the most important issues facing the Democratic Republic of Congo today. Most screenings will be followed by panel discussions, special events, performances, and receptions. Congo in Harlem 2 will provide audiences with more than the traditional movie-going experience -- it will offer opportunities celebrate Congolese culture, learn about the ongoing humanitarian crisis, engage in dialogue, and get involved.


Highlights of the program include:  October 8th and 9th, Monique Mbeka Phoba, a Belgian-based Congolese filmmaker, will present her films A Bewitched Life and Between the Cup and the Elections. On October 17th, we will kick off International Congo Week with a special tribute to legendary soukous singer Kanda Bongo Man, who will be attendance. To close out the series, there will be a special panel discussion focused on solutions to the child soldier problem, featuring Ishmael Beah (author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier) and Jimmie Briggs (author of Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go to War). Please visit our website for the latest updates and schedule additions.


Congo in Harlem 2 is supported by VDAY, the Caipirinha Foundation, and other organizations. Ticket will be sold on the basis of suggested donation and the proceeds from each event will be contributed to NGOs and organizations working in Congo.


Series Partners: Friends of the Congo, Now AfriCAN, HEAL Africa, V-Day, Cultures of Resistance, Tabilulu Productions, New York African Film Festival, Congo Global Action, Museum for African Art, Yole!Africa, and First Run/Icarus.


Friday, October 8th, 7:30 pm

Congo in Harlem 2

A Bewitched Life

Dir. Monique Mbeka Phoba, 2004, 52 min.

Monique Mbeka Phoba, the director of the film, spent part of her childhood in Zaire (DR Congo), where witchcraft plays an integral role in people's lives. After moving to Belgium, she lost touch with this aspect of her culture, in part because her parents kept her away from it, even though they were believers themselves. Phoba emabarks on a journey back to her roots, guided by an 84-year old man accused of being a witch in his childhood. Through frank discussions between Phoba and those close to her, the film follows the rhythms of its maker's search to find the meaning of witchcraft in Congo.

After the movie:

Discussion with director Monique Phoba + opening night reception

reception sponsored by Sugar Hill Ale

Evening Co-Presented by The New York African Film Festival


Saturday, October 9th, 7:30 pm

Congo in Harlem 2

Between the Cup and the Election

Dir. Monique Mbeka Phoba and Guy Kabeya Muya, 2008, 56 min.

Inspired by the 2006 elections in Congo, a group of film students sets out to make a film. They track down members of the 1974 Leopards, Zaire's national soccer squad, the first team from sub-Saharan Africa to qualify for the World Cup. After a dismal first round performance -- the Leopards were outscored 14-0 in three games -- the players returned home in disgrace and drifted into obscurity. The team's captain, however, has fared better and is running for political office in Kinshasa. Deftly weaving past and present, Between the Cup and the Election offers a personal and endearing study of the intersection between sport and politics.

After the movie:

Discussion with director Monique Phoba + reception