March 1, 2017
World Cinema Fund Africa
Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
107 85 BERLIN
Re: CONGO: A MISSION IMPOSSIBLE?
Dear Friends at the WCF/Africa Fund,
First of all, I would like to express my sincere thanks for your allowing me to submit
CONGO: A MISSION IMPOSSIBLE? to WCF Africa this year. I believe you have made
correct decision, for the following reasons:
1. After a century of suffering starting with the genocide of King Leopold II and culminating in Africa’s World War, Congo has made major strides towards recovery over the past two decades/ Now that recovery is threatened by the refusal of President Joseph Kabila to obey the Congolese constitution and step down after two terms as president. The Congolese people do not want another Mobutu. Unfortunately, the new American administration does not seem concerned with rule of law and human rights, and there has even been talk of removing American regulations on conflict minerals such as coltan. I believe it is essential to focus the international spotlight on Congo now – before it is too late.
2. On a personal note, I have spent 4 decades making films about the developing world, and I have been constantly searching for new ways to give people a voice. Prior to the digital revolution, the economic obstacles were insurmountable, but my experience in Timor Leste in 2000 was a revelation. Unhappy with what I felt was a cover-up of the massive Indonesian human rights violations , I quit the UN to make my own documentary, EAST TIMOR: BETRAYAL AND RESURRECTION, which won a few prizes, and is now being distributed around the world by the East Timorese themselves. It is my goal to do the same for Congo, where I had a team of talented video professionals for 5 years, and also found a brilliant Congolese video journalist – Horeb Bulambo – who is now the director of CONGO: A MISSION IMPOSSIBLE? This will be the first time a filmmaker has been able to depict the work of a UN mission in his own country, and that alone will be a significant cinematic and cultural event – as well as an interesting film.
Many thanks again for your kind consideration,
A luta continua,