Congo in Harlem 2

Box office open for advance ticket purchases Mon-Fri 12-6 & from 1 hour before until the end of all events.
During these hours, knock on the window if door is locked.

Painting by JP Mika, courtesy of the Horvath collection

Congo in Harlem 2
October 8th - October 23rd

   Congo in Harlem 2 is the second annual series of Congo-related films and events at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem. This year's program showcases a wide range of films by Congolese and international directors, representing the most important issues facing the Democratic Republic of Congo today. Most screenings will be followed by panel discussions, special events, musical performances, and receptions. Congo in Harlem 2 will provide audiences with more than the traditional movie-going experience -- it will offer opportunities to celebrate Congolese culture, learn about the ongoing humanitarian crisis, engage in dialogue, and get involved.

Highlights of the program include: October 8th and 9th, Monique Mbeka Phoba, a Belgian-based Congolese filmmaker, will present her films A Bewitched Life and Between the Cup and the Elections. On October 17th, we will kick off Break the Silence: Congo Week with a special screening by Cultures of Resistance and a tribute to legendary soukous singer Kanda Bongo Man, who will be attendance. On October 23rd, there will be an engaging panel discussion focused on solutions to the child soldier problem, featuring Ishmael Beah (author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier) and Jimmie Briggs (author of Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go to War). The closing night film will be Thierry Michel's expose of mining operations in Congo, Katanga Business, followed by a panel with Peter Rosenblum (Professor of Human Rights Law, Columbia University) and other special guests. Please visit our website for the latest updates and schedule additions.

Special exhibit in cinema lobby: Photographs from North Kivu, DRC by Robert Garner and Mary McFarland.

Congo in Harlem 2
is supported by VDAY, the Caipirinha Foundation, and other organizations. Ticket will be sold on the basis of suggested donation and the proceeds from each event will be contributed to NGOs and organizations working in Congo.

Series Partners: Friends of the Congo, Now AfriCAN, Tabilulu Productions, V-Day, Cultures of Resistance, The New York African Film Festival, HEAL Africa, The Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Icarus Films, Congo Global Action, Museum for African Art, Yole!Africa, Man Up Campaign, Hirondelle USA, Radio Okapi, and

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Oct. 8
7:30 pm


A Bewitched Life
Dir. Monique Mbeka Phoba, 2004, 52 min
Monique Mbeka Phoba, the director of the film, spent part of her childhood in Zaire (DR Congo), where witchcraft plays an integral role in people's lives. After moving to Belgium, she lost touch with this aspect of her culture, in part because her parents kept her away from it, even though they were believers themselves. Phoba emabarks on a journey back to her roots, guided by an 84-year old man accused of being a witch in his childhood. Through frank discussions between Phoba and those close to her, the film follows the rhythms of its maker's search to find the meaning of witchcraft in Congo.

Discussion with director Monique Mbeka Phoba, moderated by Mahen Bonetti (Executive Director of The New York African Film Festival) and opening night reception featuring music by Isaac Katalay and sponsored by Harlem's own Sugar Hill Ale.

Evening Co-Presented by The New York African Film Festival and V-Day

  A Bewitched Life
performer Isaac Katalay

Oct. 9
7:30 pm


Between the Cup and the Election
Dir. Monique Mbeka Phoba and Guy Kabeya Muya, 2008, 56 min
Inspired by the 2006 elections in Congo, a group of film students sets out to make a film. They track down members of the 1974 Leopards, Zaire's national soccer squad, the first team from sub-Saharan Africa to qualify for the World Cup. After a dismal first round performance -- the Leopards were outscored 14-0 in three games -- the players returned home in disgrace and drifted into obscurity. The team's captain, however, has fared better and is running for political office in Kinshasa. Deftly weaving past and present, Between the Cup and the Election offers a personal and endearing study of the intersection between sport and politics.

Discussion with director Monique Mbeka Phoba, moderated by Jimmie Briggs (journalist, Congo activist, and author of Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go to War) and reception.

Evening Co-Presented by V-Day


Oct. 17
7:00 pm


Congo Week Kick-Off!

Cultures of Resistance: Congo Week
Dir. Iara Lee, 2010, 4min.
A short film about Friends of the Congo and their efforts to raise consciousness about the situation and support Congolese institutions working for peace. Special Performance: IMPACT Repertory Theatre IMPACT Repertory Theatre, an Oscar nominated youth performance group, will be giving a special Congo Week performance in collaboration with Friends of the Congo.

Special Performance: IMPACT Repertory Theatre
IMPACT Repertory Theatre, an Oscar nominated youth performance group, will be giving a special Congo Week performance in collaboration with Friends of the Congo.

An Evening with Kanda Bongo Man
A sneak peak at a new documentary about popular soukous singer Kanda Bongo Man, along with a short selection of music videos and interviews. Kanda Bongo Man will be in attendance, along with Lubangi Muniania, founder of Tabilulu Productions, the record label that released Kanda's latest album, Non-Stop Feeling.

Discussion with Kanda Bongo Man and Lubangi Muniania (founder of Tabilulu Productions) & Congo Week Kick-Off Reception

Evening Co-Presented by Cultures of Resistance, Tabilulu Productions, and Friends of the Congo


Impact Repertory Theatre

Kanda Bongo Man

Oct. 18
7:30 pm


Congo in Four acts
Dir. Kiripi Katembo Siku, Dieudo Hamadi, Patrick Ken Kalala, Davita Wa Lusala, 2010, 69min.
Four short films made by Congolese filmmakers who set out to create an alternative to the snapshots of horror and desperation that have come to characterize their country.

  Ladies in Waiting
  Directed by Dieudo Hamadi & Divita Wa Lusala
An embattled hospital manager negotiates collateral with a group of new mothers being held at the hospital until they can pay their medical bills.

  Symphony Kinshasa
  Directed by Kiripi Katembo Siku
Siku takes a poetic, unflinching eye to the streets of Kinshasa, Congo's capitol. Stagnant puddles, heaps of trash, and bare electrical wires expose the city's imploding infrastructure and absence of public services.

  Zero Tolerance
  Directed by Dieudo Hamadi
A Congolese policewoman, who is head of the Sexual Violence Unit, questions two boys accused of attacking and raping a woman on her way home from the market. Her efforts to mediate between the young perpetrators and their victim reveal both the depth of the problem and the community's resolve to address it.

  After the Mine
  Directed by Kiripi Katembo Siku
Siku examines Kibushi, a polluted mining town where even the youngest children are enlisted to extract the nation's wealth. The devastating conditions have trapped those who are living there, and this film tells their stories.

Discussion with Joseph Mbangu (Congolese attorney and activist), Sylvie Muanga Mbanga (Congolese human rights lawyer and women's rights advocate).

Co-presented by Icarus Films

Ladies in Waiting

Symphony Kinshasa

After The Mine

Oct. 19
7:30 pm Tickets


State of Mind: Healing Trauma
Dir. Djo Munga, 2010, 52min.
Is healing possible for individuals living in a country where over 5 million people have died? Director Djo Munga takes this question on by following Albert Pesso, a trained dancer who has developed a trademarked method for healing trauma called PBSP (Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor). With support from the German government, Pesso travels to Congo to train health care practitioners in his method. Mungo observes the proceedings with patience and honesty, delicately revealing the deep and complex roots of the challenge at hand.

Discussion with psychologist Dr. Mark A. Bolden (Eastern Regional Representative for the Association of Black Psychologists and co-founder of the Fanon Project - a cadre of scholars dedicated to decolonizing the African mind and healing African people traumatized by political violence) and Dr. Matt Fried (psychologist and a certified practitioner of PBSP who was involved with the project depicted in the film).

Co-presented by Icarus Films


Oct. 20
7:30 pm Tickets


Jazz Mama
Dir. Petna Katondolo, 2010, 30min.
How do you talk about rape in a place where basic human rights are systematically violated? Katondolo skirts the boundaries of reality and fiction, offering a compelling portrait of Conoglese women who stand strong in their communities and denounce the violence they experience.

Weapon of War
Dir. Isle and Femke Van Velzen, 2009, 59min.
Two soldiers attempt to reconcile with their past, unveiling a seldom seen side of the brutal use of rape in DR Congo's conflict. One soldier meets his victim in an attempt to ask her forgiveness. The other, now a priest in Congo's army, confronts perpetrators and urges them to change, just as he did.

Discussion with Dr. Roger Luhiriri (human rights advocate and former fistula doctor at Panzi Hospital), Jocelyn Kelly (gender-based violence Research Coordinator with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative) and Dr. Lee Ann De Reus (President of the Board of Directors of Panzi Hospital Foundation).

Evening Co-Presented by the Man Up Campaign

Jazz Mama

Director Petna Katondolo

Oct. 21
7:30 pm Tickets


Le Clandestin / The Stowaway
Dir. Zéka Laplaine, 1996, 15min
An African stowaway attempts to elude a tenacious police officer in a short burlesque film that sets the serious issue of illegal immigration against a comic backdrop.

Pushing the Elephant
Dir. Beth Davenport and Elizabeth Mandel, 2010, 91min.
"An intimate family drama set against the backdrop of the 1998 conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pushing the Elephant tells the story of Rose Mapendo, who was separated during the conflict from her five-year-old daughter, Nangabire. Rose survived the atrocities of those years and was eventually resettled in Phoenix, Arizona, with her other children. Now, after 12 years apart, Rose and her daughter Nangabire are reunited in the US. Through the story of their reunion, we come to understand the excruciating decisions Rose made in order to survive and the complex difficulties Nangabire faces as a refugee in the US—torn between her painful past and a hopeful future." - Human Rights Watch Film Festival

Discussion with Directors Beth Davenport and Liz Mandel and other special guests & reception.

Co-Presented by Arts Engine and The Human Rights Watch Film Festival


Le Clandestin

Oct. 22
7:30 pm Tickets


L'Afrique En Morceaux / "The Tragedy of the Great Lakes"
Dir. Jihan El-Tahri, 2001, 100min.
A chronicle of DR Congo from 1994-2000, filmed at the height of the Second Congo War. With astonishing access to key political and military players in the conflict -- including Kabila, Kagame, Musaveni, and Kabarebe -- El-Tahri has created an essential historical document that remains as relevant today as it was nearly a decade ago. Africa in Pieces served as an important reference in the recently leaked UN mapping report, and it's screening at Congo in Harlem will be the film's first public showing in the US.

Discussion with director Jihan El-Tahri, Jason Stearns (Congo researcher/analyst, former UN investigator) and Luc Côté (Lead investigator/writer of the UN mapping report), moderated by Samar Al-Bulushi (Congo researcher) & reception

Co-Presented by The New York African Film Festival, Hirondelle, USA, and Radio Okapi


Oct. 23
2:00 pm Tickets


***Special Panel***
Child Soldiers and Youth Leadership

A panel discussion about how youth leadership and entrepreneurship can have a positive impact on the lives of former child soldiers and young people affected by war. Confirmed speakers include Ishmael Beah (author A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier) and Jimmie Briggs (author Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go to War), and Kambale Musavuli (student coordinator and spokesperson for Friends of the Congo). Moderated by Priscillia Kounkou Hoveyda, co-founder of Now AfriCAN.

Co-Presented by Now AfriCAN


Author Ishmael Beah

Author Jimmie Briggs

Kambale Musavali, Friends of the Congo

Oct. 23
7:00 pm Tickets


Katanga Business
Dir. Thierry Michel, 2009, 120min.
Set in one of the world's richest mining regions, Katanga Business is a riveting political and economic thriller that exposes some of the key actors in the scramble for Congo's natural wealth. The impoverished residents of Katanga are pitted against a motley collection of individuals and multinationals all vying for a piece of the action, including a Belgian entrepreneur known as "The King of Katanga", a Canadian CEO attempting to save an obsolete, state-run mine from bankruptcy; a Chinese businessman who just signed the mining contract of the century with the Congolese government; and a wealthy provincial governor, praised by the masses, who struggles to keep the situation from imploding.

PPanel discussion with Peter Rosenblum (Professor of Human Rights Law at Columbia University), Howard French (Senior Correspondent with The New York Times and Associate Professor at Columbia University School of Journalism), and Mvemba Phizo Dizolele (writer, foreign policy analyst and independent journalist) & closing night reception.

Co-Presented by Hirondelle, USA, and Radio Okapi

343 Malcolm X Boulevard / Lenox Avenue (between 127th and 128th Streets)
Suggested Admission: $10 (unless otherwise noted). The box office is open 12 - 6pm Monday - Friday and 1 hour before all showtimes till event end.

NYSCA logo   This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs,
in partnership with the City Council.