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Crime in the DRC: The film « Empire of Silence » programmed at Notre-Dame du Congo

Kinshasa, March 6th, 2023, (CPA). – The documentary film « Empire of Silence » by Belgian director Thierry Michel is scheduled for March 9th at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame du Congo, in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the director’s assistant, Gaëlle Mabanza, told the CPA on Sunday.

 « All to the Cathedral of Kinshasa on Thursday, March 9th, 2023 at 18 hours to discover the film « The Empire of Silence » and discuss, in the presence of Belgian director Thierry Michel, 25 years of history, tragedy and impunity in the DRC. A film for the memory and against forgetting that allows a better understanding of what is happening today in the east of the country, » she said.

She continued: « Empire of Silence traces the last 25 years of impunity in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This documentary film is based on real testimonies and facts of human rights violations in the DRC. It brings together sometimes horrific images, interviews with victims, experts, journalists, scientists and so on. It is the result of more than 10 films by Thierry Michel, each telling a part of the history of the DRC.

The plot of this film starts at the end of the 90s with the fall of President Mobutu; the consequences of the Rwandan genocide in the eastern part of the DRC where killings are perpetrated to this day. He evoked the seizure of power by Mzee Laurent-Désiré Kabila and then by Joseph Kabila, the 1+4 period after the Sun city agreement in 2002 in South Africa. The director returns to shocking subjects such as the 6-day war in Kisangani, the violence in Kasai with the Kamwena Nsapu, which caused the tragic death of Zaida Catalan and Michael Sharp, UN experts who were investigating the situation in 2017.

It exploited illustrations of Dr Denis Mukwege’s speech on several atrocities, including sexual violence, at the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.

« It’s a film against forgetting, to put the puzzle together. What happened has not received much media coverage, it is rarely talked about, » said Thierry Michel at the first screening at the Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles.

In the film, human rights activists, victims, experts and others are unanimous on the application of the Mapping Report, which lists more than 600 massacres committed in the DRC, and that the perpetrators should be held accountable for their actions.

The big question raised by this film is about the presence of the UN mission in the DRC. It costs more than any other UN mission in the world. But it is not producing the results expected by the population despite all the time spent in the DRC.

Born on the 13th of October in 1952 in Charleroi, Thierry Michel is a Belgian film director. He is mainly a filmmaker of political and social documentaries. He is the author of films such as « Mobutu roi du Zaïre »; « L’affaire Chebeya, un crime d’Etat »; « Congo river »; « Katanga, la guerre civile », « Katanga, business » which are already about the DRC.


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