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Directed by Emmanuel Gras

France, Congo 2017 96 mins. In Swahili, French

Winner of the Critic’s Week Grand Prix at Cannes Film Festival, Makala is a riveting piece of documentary observation and poetic inspiration. Makala means coal in Swahili. To Kabwita, who lives in the Congolese forest, making and selling coal is how he will build a house and future for his family. The camera follows him as he cuts trees, artfully makes coal from the wood, and then delivers it to town, pushing and dragging his overloaded bicycle for miles. As he toils and overcomes the obstacles, the reality of life, and a man’s responsibility to his family, sinks in. A moving portrait of courage, inspiration, and the light of hope. In Swahili and French.

Filmography: 300 Souls (2014), Bovines (2011)

Reviews: Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Screen Daily

Interviews: Cineuropa

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.