In Virtual Release: DOWNSTREAM TO KINSHASA
Coming to virtual cinemas today, Friday, April 16:
DOWNSTREAM TO KINSHASA
Cannes 2020 (unscreened)
Toronto, IDFA, DOK Leipzig, RIDM, Singapore, Seattle, Doclisboa, Leeds, Cleveland, AFI Fest
Survivors of Congo’s Six-Day War seek long-delayed compensation from their government.
In June 2000, a conflict between neighboring Uganda and Rwanda spilled over into the Congolese city of Kisangani, resulting in death and injury to thousands. Surviving victims of this six-day conflict were promised restitution, but, as demonstrated in Dieudo Hamadi’s affecting film, they have been kept waiting for nearly two decades. The filmmaker follows a group of survivors, many missing limbs and relying on painful prosthetics, as they undertake a long journey to Congo’s capital, Kinshasa, to protest their treatment and demand action from their government. The film is strongest when focused on this trek, and the treatment these activists receive upon their arrival, but falters in its awkward inclusion of dramatized scenes from a theatre workshop involving the participants. Still, Hamadi succeeds in highlighting this injustice, little known in the West, and demonstrating the resilience and righteousness of those most impacted.