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Maki’la

Machérie Ekwa Bahango’s directorial debut is a compassionate and acutely observed portrait of homelessness experienced by young people in Kinshasa.

Dir-Scr Machérie Ekwa Bahango
Prod Emmanuel Lupia Assani
With Amour Luzolo Lombi, Fidéline Kwanza Mafimbu, Serge Kanyinda
Congo-France
2018
78min
Sales Orange Studio
Subtitles

Maki’la has been living on the streets of the Congolese capital for a long time. She spends most of her time with a group of young wannabe sapeurs, who use the street as a stage to display their mostly stolen designer fashions. She is married to Mbingazor, the leader of the gang, who spends his time getting high or drunk. With little-to-no money for food, Maki finds life tough. Her frustration finally sees her coerce other street children to steal for her. When she encounters Acha, a fresh-faced new arrival from a faraway village, Maki not only encourages her to steal but the two become inseparable. Unfortunately, Mbingazor suspects that they are having a romantic relationship. Such rivalry can be deadly, as Bahango’s riveting film shows.

Keith Shiri

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