Kinshasa, “Kin la Belle” is a city of 10 million people without a single cinema.
“La Belle at the Movies” exposes the decline of the cinema industry in DRC’s capital city, examines its genesis over the past decade and puts us in touch with audiences cut adrift from their beloved cinema theatres who tell their stories with passion, insight and deep nostalgia.
Through interviews with filmmakers, cinema owners, government officials and fans, we discover a complex situation: The Minister of Culture explains that cinema is finally back on the government agenda, the President of the National Counsel for Audiovisual elaborates new broadcast regulations designed to stop widespread piracy and entrepreneurs fight to keep the passion alive in the townships with VHS pop-up cinemas.
“La Belle” condenses the story of a city, the apartheid era, and the neo colonialism of Mobutu as events unfold inexorably linked to the fate of “the Movies”. It celebrates the Kinshasa cowboys of the popular 1960s Spaghetti Westerns and narrates preachers’ opposition as they have turned theatres into churches.
The interviews and lyric imagery of this film make it a testimony to an African film industry in crisis - orphaned but living in hope for a brighter future.