New to VOD this week:
DOK Leipzig 2014
IDFA, DocPoint, Hot Docs, Docville, Docs Against Gravity, DOK.fest Munich, Dokufest, Camden, Margaret Mead, Cork, Cinema Verité, Big Sky Doc, Taiwan Doc, Traverse City
A portrait of modern-day Congo through its broken-down institutions.
Bilsen expertly crafts a quiet but poetic sense of place in this observational profile of three state-run institutions in Kinshasa and the people that work there. Henriette works at the crumbling post office, but she never seems to have any customers, and hasn’t received her full wages in ages. Middle-aged Simon guards the rail station, but, given the lack of trains, he mostly just whiles away the time with his coworker, a protege who is getting too big for his britches. Kasono and his fellow firefighters train, but when faced with a real fire they lack proper equipment and even water pressure to make much of a difference. These individuals serve as a microcosm of Congo, persevering within their positions and hoping that the economic situation will improve someday to make them feel productive once again.