Pieces d’identites

One of the true discoveries of the 1998 Pan-African film festival, where it won the ‘Best Film’ award, writer-director Mweze Ngangura’s Pieces d’identites is a delightfully complicated but impeccably logical comedy about heritage, identity and self-discovery. The story revolves around Mani Kongo (Gerard Essomba), a Zairean king who arrives in Brussels in search of his long-lost daughter Mwana. Mani Kongo is no stranger to Belgium, having been received at Expo 1958 as a young king. But his romanticised memories receive a shock when he arrives in modern Brussels, where his regal status means little. Ngangura’s entertaining and unpretentious film details the tragicomic adventures of the king and a host of other characters as they search for, assert or rediscover their African identity in the diaspora that is to be found in many of the capital cities of Europe.
-Republic of Congo-France, 1998, Colour. English subtitles. dts stereo. 97 mins.

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