COLONIALISM: Four filmmakers search for a new way to tell the story of Kinshasa, looking to the city's performance artists and their subversion of colonialism's legacy.
Carmen Gray
Freelance film critic and regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Published date: April 26, 2019

Faire-Part is a film about the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s capital of Kinshasa, and the way that the city is used by performance artists as a space of possibility to disrupt and rewrite the stories that have already been told about it. They «take matters into their own hands», refusing to let the legacy of colonialism and its distortion of truth go unchallenged or have the last say in defining their identities.

Documenting these vibrant and myriad interventions are four filmmakers, two Congolese (Paul Shemisi and Nizar Saleh) and two from Belgium (Anne Reijniers and Rob Jacobs), who together are searching for a way to present Kinshasa. Their «past is connected, therefore also their present» we are told, their differing perspectives in relation to the former Belgian colony forming a prism through which to see the nation anew. They explore fresh ways of staging a place previously stereotyped as a «hungry, dirty, crying city» in a multitude of existing stories. The loosely episodic, DIY, trial-and-error format is perfectly suited to the film’s embrace of play and experimentation as a means to identity reconstruction and to the notion that collective history is a living entity that is constantly in an unfinished process.

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