Hmm… From director Daniel McCabe, comes a feature doc titled This Is Congo, which promises an in-depth look at the Democratic Republic of Congo’s resource wars, told from multiple perspectives of those directly involved and affected.
I’ll always appreciate a comprehensive look at a complicated subject. So, despite the usual knee-jerk reactions I have when I hear about films that tackle “Africa’s woes” (broadly speaking) directed by non-African (typically white) filmmakers, I’ll wait until I actually see the film before offering any commentary on it.
I’m also encouraged by the filmmaker’s approach as laid out about, and below.
I’ll let the filmmaker speak for himself:
After nearly 3 years of filming and research, the film makers present an in-depth exploration of the fight for the DRC’s vast mineral wealth and natural resources. Battles are waged daily by those who will kill to plunder the country’s rare metals and other natural bounty, which ends up in the hands of western end users. Eastern Congo is an area where an estimated 1,500 people die each day as victims of war, where rape and child combatants have reached epidemic proportions. THIS IS CONGO will document one of the key aspects of violent conflict in the Congo; it’s resource wars. Showing the direct link between the continued violence in eastern Congo and the consumer products that are manufactured today. From raw materials to war, it will provide a looking glass view into the human costs of an unregulated international market for Congo’s valuable natural resources as seen through the eyes of our Congolese characters. It will also testify to the need for finding a realistic and enduring solution to over a decade of violent conflict. THIS IS CONGO will give viewers insight into the reality of this complex situation; informing them of the efforts being made to prevent this ongoing conflict. It will explore the causes of media blackouts and why the world’s largest assembled peacekeeping mission MONUSCO has been rendered useless. It will also show how no single initiative alone can change things, as well as what the components of a working solution may be. Explaining the delicate combination of transparency and demilitarization of the mining industry, coupled with massive government reform. Showing how rehabilitation of the shell-shocked population and their infrastructure is needed in addition to international support, will inform the viewer where help is needed most. Beginning with these resources in their raw form and following the extraction, transport and smuggling process through to the end-user’s cell phone, engagement ring or automobile, this film completes the circle in this violent chain by following the stories of individual characters that are affected along the way. Exposing the reality of the products most own today, and the relationship to the current situation in Eastern Congo.
Cinereach announced last week that it awarded over $500,000 in grants to 22 feature-length film projects that applied for support in 2012. More than 2,000 applications were submitted, from filmmakers based in upwards of 100 countries. This Is Congo is one of the 22 selected projects.
In addition to Cinereach’s backing, the film also completed a $30,000 fundraising campaign earlier this month.
So it’s moving along steadily and surely.
It’s on my alerts list, so I’ll be watching its progress from here on.
Watch a rather frenetic promo that was used during their fundraising campaign below: