Friends of the Congo, True-Walker Productions, and Maysles Cinema Present: Congo in Harlem 3

Congo in Harlem 3 is the third annual series of Congo-related films and special events at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem. This year’s program features a wide range of films by Congolese and international directors, representing some of the most important issues facing the Democratic Republic of Congo today. Most screenings will be followed by panel discussions, special events, musical performances, and receptions. Congo in Harlem 3 will provide audiences with more than the traditional movie-going experience -- it will offer opportunities to celebrate Congolese culture, learn about the ongoing humanitarian crisis, engage in dialogue, and get involved.


A critical focus of this year’s program will be the upcoming 2011 presidential elections in Congo, scheduled to take place in late November. Key issues will be addressed in panel discussions and post-screening Q&As.


Highlights of the program include Kafka in Congo and Murder in Kinshasa (October 19th and 20th) featuring post-screening discussions with directors Marlène Rabaud and Arnaud Zajtman; a dynamic duo of sensational music films, Kinshasa Symphony and Benda Bilili! (October 17th and 21st) ; and a special appearance by Djo Munga, acclaimed director of Viva Riva! (October 22nd and 23rd).


Throughout the series, there will be a silent auction of fashion items created by African designers, courtesy of Bel Esprit. Proceeds from the auction will help support the ongoing programming of Congo In Harlem.


Congo in Harlem 3 is a non-profit series. All events have been made possible by the generous support of DISH Africa TV, Caipirinha Foundation, V-Day, Panzi Foundation USA, and contributions from other organizations and individuals.


***Proceeds from Congo in Harlem will go toward a fund for emerging Congolese filmmakers ***


Series Partners and Friends: Friends of the Congo, V-DAY-Harlem, Man-Up, Now AfriCAN, New York African Film Festival, Project Girl Performance Collective, HEAL Africa, Panzi Foundation USA, Cultures of Resistance, Mutaani FM, Yole!Africa, V-Day, Tabilulu Productions, Music Box Films, National Geographic Entertainment


Friends of the Congo (, Man-Up (, Now AfriCAN (, Project Girl Performance Collective (, HEAL Africa (, Panzi Foundation (, Cultures of Resistance (, Mutaani FM (, Yole!Africa (, V-Day (, Tabilulu Productions, Music Box Films (, National Geographic Entertainment (


Congo in Harlem 3

Sunday, October 16, 3:00PM


Breaking the Silence: Congo Week

Cultures of Resistance, 2010, 3 min.


Blood in the Mobile

Dir. Franck Piasecki Poulsen, 2010, 82 min.

Director Franck Piasecki Poulsen embarks on a personal mission to uncover the origin of the minerals in his Nokia cell phone. Navigating the bureaucracy, corruption, and dangers of eastern Congo, he arrives at Bisie, one of the largest and most notorious illegal mines in the region, where armed groups maintain tight control and inhumane conditions, and child labor runs rampant. Determined to know if his cell phone is funding conflict in Congo, Poulsen works his way into Nokia’s corporate offices, where he confronts executives about their mineral supply chain.

Discussion with Sekombi Katondolo (producer of Blood in the Mobile and founder/director of MutaaniFM), David Aronson (freelance journalist and blogger), Mvemba Phizo Dizolele (writer, foreign policy analyst, and independent journalist), and other special guests.

Blood in the Mobile Trailer:



Monday, October 17, 7:30PM

Papa Wemba: Singing for a Democratic Congo

Cultures of Resistance, 2010, 4 min.


Kinshasa Symphony

Dir. Claus Wischmann and Martin Baer, 2010, 95 min.

In a country better known for conflict and corruption, a group of 200 individuals has managed to forge one of the most complex systems of human cooperation ever undertaken: a symphony orchestra. As the musicians prepare for a public performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, they must overcome a litany of challenges, including power cuts, traffic noise, makeshift instruments, and the rigors of survival in one of the world’s most chaotic cities. The result is a document of passion, cooperation, and the power of music.

Kinshasa Symphony Trailer:


Tuesday, October 18, 7:30PM

Co-Presented by Panzi Foundation USA



Re-contextualizing Rape Congo has been dubbed the “Rape Capital of the World”, but why? This panel will explore the complexities that contribute to gender-based violence in Congo, and examine the role of rape in popular understanding of Congo’s crisis. Panelists will discuss activist dilemmas in tackling the problem, offer perspectives from the ground, and suggest meaningful ways to make a difference.



Marie-Ange Bunga, Founder of Congo Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School Lee Ann De Reus, President of the Board, Panzi Hospital Foundation Shana Mongwana, Founder and director of AFRICALIVES! Productions + Other guests to be announced


Panel Preceded by:

Voices Without Borders: Project Girl Congo

Directed by Jessica Greer Morris

The Project Girl Performance Collective will perform an excerpt their theatrical piece “Voices Without Borders,” based on the experience, strength and hope of young girls in DR Congo and the US.


Women Beyond War: A World March in Africa

Cultures of Resistance, 2010, 5 min.


Congo: A Common Cause

Dir. Shana Mongwana, 2011, 15 min.


Zero Tolerance

Dir. Dieudo Hamadi, 2010, 18 min.


Wednesday, October 19, 7:30PM

Kafka in Congo

Dir. Marlène Rabaud and Arnaud Zajtman, 2010, 59 min.

Fifteen years ago, Gorette Mawuzu’s land was stolen from her. Too poor to hire an attorney, she had been representing herself in court for the past decade and a half without clear resolution. At the same time, Bahati Lukwebo, an administrator responsible for the National Congolese Assembly’s finances maneuvers to maintain his position within a dysfunctional bureaucracy. From opposite ends of the social spectrum, this elegantly observed film reveals the challenges and corruption built into Congo’s legal system.

Discussion with directors Marlène Rabaud and Arnaud Zajtman, moderated by attorney/activist Joseph Mbangu


Thursday, October 20, 7:30PM

Thembo Kash: Cartooning For Justice DRC/Congo

Cultures of Resistance, 2010, 5 min.


Murder in Kinshasa: Who Killed Laurent Désiré Kabila?

Dir. Marléne Rabaud and Arnaud Zajtman, 2011, 48 min.

On January 16th, 2001, Laurent Désiré Kabila, the President of DR Congo, was murdered by one of his bodyguards. Moments later, the bodyguard was shot and killed, setting the stage for one of Congo’s greatest mysteries. With unprecedented access to key actors in the assassination -- including a hidden camera passed to one of the accused in prison -- Murder in Kinshasa poses vital questions about a case that will likely go unsolved in the annals of Congolese history.

Discussion with directors Marlène Rabaud and Arnaud Zajtman

Murder in Kinshasa Trailer:


Friday, October 21, 7:30PM

Lexxus Legal: Hip Hop for Social Change

Cultures of Resistance, 2010, 4 min.


Benda Bilili!

Dir. Renaud Barret and Flaurent De La Tullaye, 2010, 85 min.

Courtesy of National Geographic Entertainment (

From the gritty slums of Kinshasa to packed concert halls in Europe, Benda Bilili! charts the improbable transformation of five paraplegics and a virtuoso street-kid into a global music phenomenon. Their band, Staff Benda Bilili (“Look Beyond Appearances”) is living proof that against all odds, dreams can become reality.

Reception featuring live Congolese music by Isaac Katalay


Benda Bilili Trailer:


Saturday, October 22, 7:30PM

Viva Riva!

Dir. Djo Munga, 2011, 96 min.

Courtesy of Music Box Films

Riva is a small time operator who has just returned to Kinshasa with a fortune in hijacked petrol. With wads of cash and out for a good time, Riva is soon entranced by a beautiful nightclub siren, who also happens to be the kept woman of a local gangster. Into the mix comes Riva’s Angolan crime-lord ex-boss, who is after his stolen fuel. Director Djo Munga’s high-octane thriller is the first major action film shot in Kinshasa in nearly two decades, and landmark film in Congolese cinema.

Discussion with director Djo Munga + Reception with Congolese food

Viva Riva Trailer:



Saturday, October 22, 2:00PM

***Special Riverside Church Screening***

Presented by Friends of the Congo



Room 9T

Riverside Church New York City 490 Riverside Drive New York, NY 10027


Crisis in the Congo: Uncovering the Truth

Friends of the Congo, 2011, 26min.

A sneak peak at a short version of the forthcoming film Crisis in the Congo: Uncovering The Truth, which will explore the role that the United States, Rwanda, and Uganda have played in Congo’s ongoing humanitarian crisis. The film unveils analysis and prescriptions from leading experts, practitioners, activists, and intellectuals, locating the Congo crisis in a historical, social, and political context.


Panel discussion and reception with Congolese food.

This screening is free and open to the public


Sunday, October 23, 3:00PM



Youth Power: From Cairo to Congo

Using the North African revolution as a starting point, this panel will explore the Congolese youth movement, and its potential impact on the upcoming elections as young Congolese strive to have greater say in the future of their country.


Jimmie Briggs, Journalist, author, and founder of the Man-Up campaign

Nathaniel Houghton, Founder and CEO of Congo Leadership Initiative

Priscillia Kounkou-Hoveyda, Co-Founder of NowAfriCAN

Kambale Musavuli, Activist and student coordinator for Friends of the Congo


Panel Preceded by:

Building Beyond Conflict: Inspiring Congolese Kids For A Brighter Future

Cultures of Resistance, 2010, 7 min.


Sunday, October 23, 7:00PM


Papy (Mon Histoire)

Dir. Djo Munga, 2007, 53 min.

When Papy, a policeman living in Kinshasa, discovers that he has AIDS his life begins to spin out of control. His wife abandons him, leaving him to care for their two children, and he is even rejected by his own sister. In order to get treatment, he must have a family member serve as a confidant, but with nobody to turn to, what will Papy do? Based on a true story, Papy is hard-hitting drama that ultimately inspires a message of hope.

Discussion with director Djo Munga + closing night reception featuring Congolese music by Isaac Katalay