Join us for a free screening of Mweze Ngangura’s film Pièces D’identitès (Pieces of Identity) in its twentieth anniversary year. The film explores the costs the colonial legacy continues to exact from Africans in terms of the uses of African bodies, African mentalities, and African cultural artifacts:
“Mani Kongo, the venerable king of the Bakongo, sets out alone on a quest for his long-lost daughter, Mwana, whom he sent to Belgium to study medicine many years before. As soon as he leaves his village and enters the Westernized world he finds his identity challenged. At the travel agency in Kinshasa, young urban trend-setters mistake the king’s royal fetishes as the latest fashion statement while customs officials try to confiscate them as imported art objects. Eventually, robbed, homeless and penniless, Mani Kongo is tricked into pawning his royal regalia, literally his “pieces of identity,” to an unscrupulous art dealer…While Mani Kongo has only temporarily lost his ID [also a meaning of the phrase ‘pieces of identity,’ one’s state-issued identification, one’s papers], the younger generation in the film finds itself adrift in Europe without ever having had one. Mwana (aka Amanda) has just been released from jail for drug-running and is forced to take a job in a strip club where Africans act out Europeans’ lurid fantasies of the other. She was seduced and is still pursued by a small-time, designer-clad hustler or sapeur, Viva wa Viva, whose motto is “the brand makes the man.”…Chaka-Jo is a mulatto [sic] cabdriver, trapped between white and black, the son of an unknown Belgian father abducted from his Congolese mother and placed in a Belgian orphanage. In his frustration, he holds up white bars like a Robin Hood dressed as a Congolese warrior proclaiming himself the ‘Savior of Humanity,’ ” California Newsreel.
A comedy, Ngangura weaves the fibers of these characters’ lives into a poignant portrait of contemporary African conditions in the diaspora, still so fundamentally relevant in the face of contemporary African migration to Europe in search jobs, peace and security only to find continued super exploitation
Pièces D’Identités (Pieces of Identity)
A Film by Mweze Ngangura
Friday, February 2, 2018
Doors Open at 6:30 PM; program begins at 7:00 PM
Free: donations accepted
5730 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles
Off-street parking available.