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Cinema of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Title: Cinema of the Democratic Republic of the Congo  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Democratic Republic of the Congo cuisine, Media of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Religion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cinema of Odisha, Cinema of Kenya
Collection: Cinema of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Cinema of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Cinema of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) originated with educational and propaganda films during the colonial era of the Belgian Congo. Development of a local film industry after the Democratic Republic of the Congo became independent in 1960 was handicapped by constant civil war.


  • Colonial era 1
  • Post-independence 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4

Colonial era

During the colonial era, before the DRC gained independence as Zaire, the Belgian Congo administration did not let Africans watch foreign films. The official reason was that the locals would not understand the difference between fact and fiction. In fact, the authorities were afraid that the films would cause subversive behavior. However, the government's Film and Photo Bureau made films for the local population in the 1940s, with educational or propaganda themes. African workers were employed by the bureau and were taught the basic techniques of film production.[1]

Two companies run by Catholic priests also employed Africans in making films that taught religious virtues. These were the Congolese Center for Catholic Action Cinema (CCCAC) in

  1. ^ a b c d "History of Cinema in CONGO KINSHASA". FilmBirth. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  2. ^ "Le Congo, quel cinéma !". FCAT. Retrieved 2012-03-17. 
  3. ^ "Le Congo, quel cinéma !". Telerama. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  4. ^ "La Mémoire du Congo in Peril". FCAT. Retrieved 2012-03-17. 
  5. ^ "UNHCR uses cinema to spread awareness of sexual violence". UNHCR. 30 July 2009. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  6. ^ "Congolese filmmaker Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda Recovery of cinemas in Kinshasa". San Finna. August 14, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-18. 


See also

The filmmaker Khouribga, Morocco that he intended to acquire four cinemas in Kinshasa. He was looking for partners to help acquire the cinemas to serve Kinshasa, a city with ten million inhabitants but no cinemas at all.[6]

In 2009 the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was using the cinema to break taboos on discussing rape, which was commonplace during the civil wars. The documentary Breaking the Silence covers sexual violence and abuse of women, topics that most people are reluctant to discuss. It was made by IF Productions of the Netherlands and is being screened by a mobile cinema operated by Search for Common Ground (SFCG), a US-based NGO. Screenings are often open-air, with power provided by a generator.[5]

However, as recorded in Guy Bomanyama-Zandu's 2005 documentary Le Congo, quel cinéma!, local productions today have difficulty making money.[2] The film follows three Congolese technicians (Claude Mukendi, Pierre Mieko, and Paul Manvidia-Clarr) and Ferdinand Kanza, a director who made films in the 1970s and now works at the National Radio Television of Congo.[3] Another 2005 documentary by the same director, La Mémoire du Congo en péril, describes the Congolese Film Library. The library owns thousands of films that form part of the history of Congolese cinema, some dating as far back as 1935. They are in extremely poor condition and in danger of being lost.[4]

Salaam Kivu International Film Festival (SKIFF). SKIFF is the first film festival in the DRC and today brings together over 15,000 youth in a span of just ten days. The festival screens international and local cinema, and has an Open Air concert and Numerous Dance Competitions. In 2014 SKIFF will celebrate its 10th Edition.

Following independence in 1960 the country experienced a series of civil wars that largely destroyed the nascent film industry. Foreign support has allowed some directors to create movies in the DRC, notably from the French Ministry of foreign affairs. The government has shown little sign of assisting development of a local film industry. Almost all DRC filmmakers live and work abroad.[1]



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