Film screening: "Juju Factory" (Original with German subtitles)

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InfoEintritt frei

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As part of the Learning and Recollection Project in Berlin’s African district, AfricAvenir would like to invite you to a film screening of the multi-award winning movie "Juju Factory" at the VHS Wedding (Admission free) on Thursday, 10 April, 2014 at 19 pm. Juju Factory tells the story of the author, Kongo Congo, who lives in Brussels’ "African District" of “Matongé”. He has been commissioned by his publisher to write a book on the area. Instead of penning a tourist guide, as requested, Kongo Congo writes a historic narrative somewhere between the colonial and migration projects of the district using his notes about people he meets every day in Matongé.

Using a new tone, Juju Factory enters into the discourse about the colonial inheritance. In semi-documentary sequences and scenes akin to daily soaps, the film tells everyday tales about the lives of people among the Congolese diaspora in Brussels. The characters’ subtle ironies shine through again and again. Exactly these nuances plunge viewers into the depths of a frightening story and bring the colonial trauma out on top.

"A humourous and super-clever social commentary on ... exile and migration? Belgian colonialism? Racism in Europe? The psychology of the colonized? Of the decolonized? Of the comprador bourgeoisie? ... I think all these things.” (www.sketchythoughts.blogspot.com  - USA)

The screening will be followed by an open discussion with the film reviewer and curator Enoka Ayemba.

AfricAvenir has subtitled the film in German and owns the screening rights for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. For more information, contact info(at)africavenir.org 

Longer Synopsis

“Why did one of us have no grave, no right to burial? Eventually, he realizes that a link in the chain of his ancestors is missing.” (Kongo Congo in JuJu Factory)
The film, JuJu Factory, uncovers stories and pictures rooted in Europe’s colonial efforts, in modern day Brussels and against the backdrop of migration and exile. In this way, it shines the spotlight on current effects of the colonial inheritance and argues that the descendants of former colonialists take more responsibility in reworking the colonial regimes.

In many West African countries, “JuJu” is synomous with magic or a talisman. Director Balufu Bakupa Kanyinda uses “JuJu” in the film in relation to the colonial history to symbolise the assertiveness and ability of the former colonised to make exactly this history a prerequisite for a self-devised and better future. The movie uses new tones when discussing the colonial inheritance. In semi-documentary sequences and scenes akin to daily soaps, the film tells everyday tales about the lives of people among the Congolese diaspora in Brussels. The characters’ subtle ironies shine through again and again. Exactly these nuances plunge viewers into the depths of a frightening story and bring the colonial trauma out on top. Director Balufu Bakupa Kanyinda works with various references and uses different cinematic languages to highlight fractures and connections. Television reports, daily soaps, essay films, film in a film, experimental films and spoken word performances form a collage which could be dubbed an “essay movie”. 

The name, Matongé, stems from the famous entertainment district in Kinshasa and in Brussels exemplifies the entanglement of the colonial and the migration projects. The history of this district, which today is often described as "colourful and lively" cannot be delinked from memories of colonial exhibitions and anthropological displays (Human Zoos). In front of the graves of seven Congolese who froze to death in Tervuren, the author Kongo Congo murmurs: “This is where Matongé began.”

Instead of penning a tourist guide, Kongo Congo writes a complex historic narrative of the quarter using his notes about people he meets every day in Matongé. A bitter, crazy quarrel breaks out between the author and Joseph Désiré, his publisher of African origin, who insists on being called Belgian and does not shy away from asking even the statue of King “Monseigneur” Leopold II for advice. When Kongo Congo tells his “Belgianised” publisher to “go to Doctor Fanon”, the film opens a door leading not only to Franz Fanon’s critical colonial classic Peau Noire, Masques Blanc, but also to the bloody regime of the Congolese president Joseph Désiré Mobutu, who quelled the short-lived emancipation in Congo in the early 1960s with the active support of the western block. 

Seen from the perspective of an exiled writer, JuJu Factory weaves paradoxes, conflicts, various everyday issues among the diaspora as well as the attempt to write their history into a new, joint congolese-belgian history bereft of the usual clichés. Located in a big European city, the film draws pictures of people of African origin, who in their calm and absolutely normal self-conception are new to European screens.

Press Reviews
“With JuJu Factory” director Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda gives cinema fans of the continent a Congolese diamond“ (www.lefaso.net)

“(...) The concrete Belgian past which the film brings into view harks back to 1897 when 250 (check) Congolese men and women were shipped to Belgium to feature in the colonial section of the Universal exhibition, but the film also recalls the murder of Patrice Lumumba.” (...) Karel Arnaut, "Mediating Matonge: relocations of Belgian postcoloniality"

“The wealth of ideas, the humour, a deliberately deferred camera and tight interwoven editing, voluntarist dialogue and nightly roaming (…) Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda seems to be looking for the life-saving juju, this talisman supposed to protect us from monsters and which must be hiding somewhere out there.” Olivier Barlet, Africultures

"Juju Factory” provides an adroit analysis of issues of immigration and integration.  The film brilliantly questions ideas of “authentic” representations of “Africaness,” introducing a complex cinematic language that shows how contemporary African film not only is diverse in its tendencies but also relates in diverse ways to different (trans-)national traditions and schools of thought." Hans-Christian Mahnke, AfricAvenir

Awards

  • Écrans d'Or, Best Film, Écrans Noirs, Yaoundé, 2008
  • The Tyrol Award, Best Film, Innsbruck International Film Festival, Austria 2007
  • Golden Dhow Award, Best Film, Zanzibar International Film Festival 2007
  • Best Film, Kenya International Film Festival 2007
  • Best Film, Festival de Cinéma Africain d´Apt, France 2007
  • Best Actress (Carole Karemera: Béatrice), Festival Cinema Africano, Italy

Preise

  • Écrans d'Or, Bester Film, Écrans Noirs, Yaoundé, 2008
  • The Tyrol Award, Bester Film, Innsbruck International Film Festival, Österreich 2007
  • Golden Dhow Award, Bester Film, Zanzibar International Film Festival 2007
  • Bester Film, Kenya International Film Festival 2007
  • Bester Film, Festival de Cinéma Africain d´Apt, Frankreich 2007
  • Beste Schauspielerin (Carole Karemera: Béatrice), Festival Cinema Africano, Italien

Director
The author and director Balufu Bakupa Kanyinda was born in Kinshasa in 1957. He studied history, art history, philosophy and sociology in Brussels. After his film studies in France, Britain and the United States, he made several documentaries and feature films including an acclaimed documentary about Thomas Sankara. His first long film, Damier – Papa National Oyé (The Draughtsmen Clash) was shot in 1996. Balufu Bakupa Kanyinda also writes novels, scripts and works as a film producer. He is a founding member of the African Gild of Directors and Producers and is regular member of the jury at intetnational festivals.

Filmography

  • 10,000 years of cinema [Dix mille ans de cinéma](1991);
  • Thomas Sankara, le baobab de Dagnoen (1993);
  • Balangwa Nzembo: Congolese Music and Exile [Balangwa Nzembo: l’ivresse de la musique congolaise] (1993); The Draughtsmen Clash [Le Damier - Papa National Oyé!] (1996);
  • Bongo Libre (1999);
  • Watt (2000);
  • Article 15 bis (2000);
  • Afro@digital (2001);
  • Juju Factory (2006);
  • L’Afrique vue par… [Africa Seen by…] – We Too Walked on the Moon [Nous aussi avons marché sur la Lune] (2009).

Juju Factory
R: Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda, Spielfilm, 2007, 97 Min, DRC/Belgium
French with German subtitles

 
Thursday
10.4.2014
19h00
Admission free

Volkshochschule (VHS)
Aula 3. OG
Antonstr. 37
13347 Berlin
U Leopoldplatz
S Wedding
 
Tickets and information
030 9018 47455
 
For further information:
www.africavenir.org

With friendly support by the Bundesministerium für für Verkehr, Bau und Stadtentwicklung, der Städtebauförderung, des Landes Berlin (be Berlin), der Aktionsräume Plus, und des Bezirksamts Mitte Berlin.

© Copyright AfricAvenir 2014