Bold crime film is vicious, sexy and throbbingly realistic.
A crime thriller about a nasty gang war ignited by a fuel crisis in Congo, Viva Riva! never runs out of gas. Driven by its charismatic gangster protagonist Riva, the film is a joyride that knows it will careen into a spectacular crash. Director Djo Tunda wa Munga captures a particular vibe driven by this mixture of carpe diem and self-destructive instinct, and his flamboyant style — especially in representing sex and violence — is reminiscent of Fernando Meirelles (City of God). Although that Brazilian director’s films are less frenzied, the surface similarities might be useful for marketing beyond festivals that have an agenda to discover African cinema.
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