Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires Ministerio de Cultura

Film info: Viva Riva!

Film Information

Original Title Viva Riva!
English Title Viva Riva!
Director Djo Tunda Wa Munga
Year 2010
Format 35 mm
Colour Color
Duration 98 min
  • Guión: Djo Tunda Wa Munga
  • Fotografía: Antoine Roch
  • Montaje: Yves Langlois
  • Producción: Djo Tunda Wa Munga, Boris Van Gils, Michael Goldberg


Munga’s debut film is so unique that we had to look up the term used for the natives of the Democratic Republic of Congo (former Zaire, and Belgium Congo before that). It’s Congolese. Let’s say then that Munga’s first film is also the first in all the turbulent Congolese history; a kick-off right into the crotch of political correctness, moderation, the many myths about first films (Congolese or others), the African image cinema delivers, and even filmed sex. Viva Riva! is a wild film noir set in the middle of a fuel shortage that makes the capital city Kinshasa –and especially its underworld of thieves, murderers, and corrupts (police, military, priests, judges: they’re all in)– sweat more than the usual. Almost everyone is after Riva, who brought a truck filled with gas from Angola; Riva himself is after a femme fatale who’s also the girlfriend of the second most bad guy –the other villain is like Snoop Dogg in Starsky & Hutch, only a thousand times more sadistic– and chases her through the streets, brothels and packed nightclubs, amidst double-crosses, tortures, and over-boiled sex. We don’t know what will happen to Congolese cinema; the only sure thing is that it started off really up there.

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