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Interview: Dieudo Hamadi on His Heartbreaking Documentary ‘Downstream to Kinshasa’

Downstream to Kinshasa opens with the Troupe les zombies de Kisangi – a theatrical performing troupe made up of survivors of the Six-Day War – singing the refrain. It frames the rest of the documentary film, which follows the group as they travel to Kinshasa, the capital of the DRC, to demand compensation for their injuries. Filmmaker Dieudo Hamadi was born in Kisangani, and he was 15 years old when the conflict took place in his city. Dieudo studied medicine for three years before moving into filmmaking. Filmmaking itself isn’t easy in central Africa. Along with screening the film, Hamadi participated in a series called TIFF Bell Digital Talks, held over Zoom, and free to both journalists and anyone interested. Specifically, the talk was entitled Black Film Now, and included three other Black filmmakers.