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African Film Festival 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012
6:30 p.m. Viva Riva!
Djo Tunda Wa Munga (France/Belgium/Congo, 2010)

African filmmaking gets a jolt of Hollywood-style panache in this adrenaline-fueled Congolese action film, which energizes its vivid Kinshasa locales and social critiques with a raucous style. Brazen local hustler Riva aims high by taking on an Angolan gang (and seducing a rival crime lord’s gal); soon he’s living large, but he may not be living for long. A film of constant surprises, whether cinematic (tributes to film noirs and 1970s gangster films) or cultural (fascinating glimpses of Angolan/Congolese relations and Kinshasa gasoline shortages; a pounding African hip-hop soundtrack), Viva Riva! is indeed “a blast from start to finish” (Variety).

—Jason Sanders

• Written by Munga. Photographed by Antoine Roch. With Patsha Bay Mukuna, Manie Malone, Hoji Fortuna, Alex Herbo. (96 mins, In Lingala, Portuguese, and French with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, From Music Box Films)