The trailer for the Congolese crime drama, Viva Riva!, is now over at YouTube. I caught this flick this past week (look for the review on June 10th on both CHUD and GUY) and it’s all kinds of good. It’s uniquely African but with very Hollywood sensibilities, and is the first film of note to come out of the Congo in nearly 20 years. It grabbed most of the hardware at the 2011 African Academy Awards including Best Film, Best Director (for Djo Tunda Wa Munga), Best Cinematography, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Production Design. It also picked up Best Picture at the 2011 Pan African Film Festival and was an official selection at Berlin International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and SXSW. It opens on June 10th and if you like good crime noir, you should really check it out if you get the chance.
The synopsis: Riva is a small time operator who has just returned to his hometown of Kinshasa, Congo after a decade away with a major score: a fortune in hijacked gasoline. Wads of cash in hand and out for a good time, Riva is soon entranced by beautiful night club denizen, Nora, the kept woman of a local gangster. Into the mix comes an Angolan crime lord relentlessly seeking the return of his stolen shipment of gasoline. Director Djo Tunda Wa Munga’s Kinshasa is a seductively vibrant, lawless, fuel-starved sprawl of shantytowns, gated villas, bordellos and nightclubs and Riva is its perfect embodiment.
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