Tongo Saa

Nelson Makengo
Democratic Republic of Congo, Belgium, Germany, Burkina Faso, Qatar | 2024 | 95 min
International Premiere
Language : Lingala
Subtitles : English, French

Special Jury Award offered by Région de Nyon

As the Congo prepares to build Africa’s largest power station, the people of Kinshasa are engulfed in darkness. As the population struggles to receive access to electricity, they rely on makeshift lights not only to survive, but also to celebrate – with candles, LEDs and fireworks. An impressive nocturnal fresco.

As the Congo builds Africa's largest power station, the people of Kinshasa are engulfed in darkness. Amid this dysfunctional and corrupt situation, the population fights for access to electricity. While some form public committees and others find refuge from the darkness in prayer, everybody is getting hold of makeshift lights, not just to survive, but also to celebrate. Despite the darkness, the capital city of 17 million people prepares for its Christmas and New Year celebrations – also marked by extensive flooding – with fireworks and string lights to make the dark nights sparkle. Nelson Makengo paints an impressive lyrical and political fresco, his characters making their way through these desperate nights as though walking a tightrope. An inspired sound design accompanies us on this search for light, on both a literal and spiritual level. The audience emerges dazzled by the tenacity and resourcefulness of these characters, as they navigate through the ebbs and flows of the darkness.

Alice Riva
Rising up at Night, 2024 
Up at Night, 2019
E'ville, 2018


Nelson Makengo
Nelson Makengo
Moimi Wezam
Inneke Van Waeyenberghe
Bao SissokoWouter Vandenabeele
Rosa SpalivieroTwenty Nine Studio & ProductionDada Kahindo SikuMutotu Productions
Sales contact
Wouter JansenSquare

International Feature Film Competition

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