Makala (2017)

  |  Documentary


Makala (2017) Poster

Trials tribulation dreams and aspirations of a young farmer earning a living making and selling charcoal in Congo.


7.8/10
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19 December 2018 | westsideschl
4
| Not Completely Honest
A cameraman holding an obvious steadicam camera accompanies a Congo village man as he chops down a large ancient beautiful tree to turn into charcoal to sell in a nearby large town to earn money to mostly buy tin roofing for a house he plans to build. Not shown, due to lots of editing, is that he eventually makes around 8 trips pushing his bicycle laden w/bags of charcoal. On this heavily travelled dirt road a couple of men demand money or a bag of charcoal for him to proceed (oddly the audio is quite clear whatever the camera distance). Several problems: The French cameraman should have intervened & should have had other crew such as security with him on this filming journey. Throughout, since the white man holding a steadicam is obvious, you don't know to what extent natural behavior is replaced w/artificial (to the camera) behavior. How he overcame flat tires & spilled load was never shown - intervention perhaps? In Special Features Q & A the Film Society Lincoln Center moderator is more concerned with displaying his complex English vocabulary to a Frenchman whose English is shaky at best (a French translator would have been better). He fails to ask about the theft; other villager life details or even what compensation from the doc goes to the Congolese man.

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