The grueling streets of Kinshasa provide the setting for this story of femininity and survival about a former street urchin trying to leave a life of crime behind her, as well as her thieving husband.
Maki'la is never sure where her next meal will come from, and it often takes some petty crime to obtain it, whether it's duping a storefront owner or grabbing something from a stall. Such is the life of a Kinshasa street urchin, where theft, drugs, and prostitution are commonplace in the ghetto. She's able to leave some of that behind after marrying fellow delinquent Mbingazor, and together the couple become a power on the streets, hiring children to run and thieve for them in exchange for protection and food scraps. But it's only a matter of time before their marriage built upon violence and exploitation deteriorates, and Maki'la grows more frustrated with her situation, finding a place to sleep on a broken truck bed in an abandoned garage. After taking in a particularly sad, parentless girl named Acha, who reminds her of her younger self, Maki'la decides to permanently leave Mbingazor in the hopes of a better future. But tragic consequences follow, and soon Maki'la is forced back into the life she thought she had left behind. Macherie Bahango's debut feature is an intimate portrait of poverty, femininity, and survival within the underbelly of the sprawling Congolese metropolis.
Born in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo in 1993, Macheria Ekwa Bahango got her start in filmmaking by learning the basics from online videos. It was serendipitous when Alain Gomis travelled to Kinshasa to film Felicite (2017), and Bahango was hired as a translator. Her training on set led her to pursue her own directorial dreams, and she hopes to inspire to other young women in the Congo to pursue the arts.
Sponsored by KING 5
- Director: Machérie Ekwa Bahango
- Principal Cast: Amour Lombi, Fideline Kwanza, Serge Kanyinda, Deborah Tshisalu, Plotin Dianani
- Country: Democratic Republic of Congo, France
- Year: 2018
- Running Time: 78 minutes
- Producer: Emmanuel Lupia, David Kessler, Rufin Mbou Mikima, Akaz Mamba
- Screenplay: Macherie Ekwa Bahango
- Cinematographers: Jimmy Tissanabo
- Editors: Philippe Raboux-Bazzini
- Music: Jonny Ekwa
- Website: Official Film Website
- Filmography: Debut Feature Film
- Language: Lingala, French
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- Format: DCP
- International Sales: DIFFA