5 Films To Look Out For At 'Congo In Harlem'

The fifth annual Congo in Harlem weeklong film and event series begins Friday October 18th and runs through Sunday October 27th.

This Friday, October 18th kicks off the 5th annual Congo in Harlem film series, a weeklong event that focuses on the history, politics, and culture of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The program includes movie screenings, discussions, food, music, art, and panels, all of which serve to reach the festival's goal of deepening NYC's understanding of the DRC. Below we detail five features that'll be showcasing next week.


Mabele Na Biso (Our Land)

(2013) 33 min. Dir. Petna Ndaliko Katondolo

When: Sunday, October 20th, 6pm

The short documentary follows the story of a communal radio station in a rural DRC village, challenging status quo dialogue on 'international aid' and 'independence' in the Congo.


Berlin 1885: The Division of Africa

(2011) 84 min. Dir. Joel Calmettes

When: Monday, October 21, 7:30pm


The Irresistible Rise of Moïse Katumbi

(2013) 83 min. Dir. Thierry Michel French and Swahili w/ English subtitles

When: Tuesday, October 22nd, 7:30pm

Wealthy Congolese businessman Moïse Katumbi has become a symbol of a new democratic leadership based on business and populism in the DRC, one that gains power through ballot boxes and elections. Rising via a winning combination of "soccer, populism, self-love and entrepreneurship," Katumbi is both governor of Katanga as well as president of the areaʼs famous soccer team, “TP Mazembe."


Vol Spécial (Special Flight)

(2011) 1 hr, 40 min. Dir. Fernand Melgar

When: Friday, October 25th, 7:30pm

Melgar's disquieting film offers perspective on forced deportations of asylum seekers in Switzerland.


La Vie Est Belle (Life is Rosy)

(1987) 80 min. Dir. Mweze Ngangura and Benoit Lamy

When: Saturday, October 26, 7:30pm

Congolese rumba legend Papa Wemba stars as Kourou, a country boy who moves to the city to follow his musical dreams. The screening will be followed by a discussion with director Mweze Ngangura as well as live music from Isaac Katalay & The Life Long Project Band.


The Congo In Harlem program runs from Friday, Oct. 18th until Sunday, Oct. 27th. Screenings are open to the public at a suggested donation of $10. Box office opens 1 hour prior to show time and advance tickets are available here. All events take place at Maysles Cinema (343 Lenox Ave, NYC) unless otherwise noted.


11 Rwandan Artists You Should Be Listening To

Musicians like Bushali, Kivumbi King, Rita Ange Kagaju, and Alyn Sano have been putting their mark on the ever-changing Rwandan soundscape.

The current landscape of modern Rwandan music is more dynamic than ever before, from updated versions of traditional folk sounds to the recent 'KinyaTrap' phenomenon that has permeated playlists across the country. For decades, Rwandan airwaves have been dominated by international hits — and by a handful of established Rwandan superstars — but now, as the country continues to develop and diversify, so does its musical setting, with new and different sounds ascending from the hills. The past five years have seen the emergence of an army of young artists eager to reclaim their languages (Rwanda has four official languages) and identity, interlacing their music with influences that stretch far and wide.

Here are 11 artists that have emerged in the past five years to put their mark on the ever-changing Rwandan soundscape.

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