First Clip from TIFF-Bound ‘Downstream to Kinshasa’

Courtesy of TIFF


By Pat Mullen

Get a first look at Downstream to Kinshasa with a new clip released this week from TIFF. The film was among the additional wave of titles announced for this year’s festival last week. Downstream to Kinshasa plays at TIFF 2020 as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of Planet Africa. The film brings director Dieudo Hamadi to the festival after his 2014 selection National Diploma, which observed the plight of low-income students struggling to again a proper education (and certificate of education) against a rigged system. Toronto audiences also saw Hamadi tackle the state of affairs in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the acclaimed Hot Docs 2018 selection Kinshasa Makambo

Hamadi’s latest film follows several Congolese citizens as they seek reparations from their government following the atrocities of the Six-Day War of 2000. Downstream to Kinshasa brings audiences to the city of Kisangani along the Congo River—the same city in which Hamadi took audiences to school in National Diploma. The film witnesses as these residents in the director’s hometown move forward after experiencing terrible crimes and violence. It gives voice to the survivors when others fail to listen.

“Since making his feature documentary debut in 2013, Dieudo Hamadi has produced an unparalleled body of work that captures glimpses of contemporary Congolese life,” writes TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey in his programming notes for the film. “Hamadi has told individual stories that speak to collective experiences and histories…With Downstream to Kinshasa, Hamadi perfects this approach.”

Downstream to Kinshasa was previously announced as an official selection for this year’s Cannes Film Festival. It premieres at TIFF via the Bell Digital Cinema on Sept. 14. Hamadi will also participate on a Planet Africa 25 panel devoted to Black voices in film on Sept. 16, which is freely available to the public.

Watch the first clip below: