Machérie Ekwa Bahango's debut feature is an intimate portrait of poverty, femininity and survival within the underbelly of the sprawling Congolese metropolis of Kinshasa. Nineteen-year-old Maki'la (Amour Lombi), nicknamed Maki, has been living on the streets since she was 13, and has long been friends with young hoodlum Mbingazor, who has become the boss of a criminal gang. When the two get married, the relationship is based on exploitation and violence, leaving Maki feeling trapped. She manages to escape and goes into hiding, when she meets Acha, a 12-year-old who has recently wound up on the streets herself after losing her parents. Soon the two forge a close bond, though Mbingazor, angrier than ever, is close behind. Official Selection, 2018 Berlin, Seattle, New York African film festivals. (Note adapted from the New York African Film Festival.)
DIR/SCR Machérie Ekwa Bahango; PROD Emmanuel Lupia Assani, David Kessler, Rufin Mbou Mikima, Akaz Mamba. Democratic Republic of the Congo/France, 2018, color, 78 min. In Lingala and French with English subtitles. NOT RATED
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