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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