Sex, violence and... gasoline? Yeah, that's the blend you get when your setting is Kinshasa and limited fuel supplies make the stuff as good as gold. Riva (Patsha Bay Mukuna) knows: He's just snuck into the Congo with a healthy supply of the stuff and plans to leverage it into a handsome payday. The problems: He's being pursued by the Angolan crime lord (Hoji Fortuna) he stole the gas from; and he's fallen hard for the sexy Nora (Manie Malone), who's already been claimed by the local crime boss.
Viva Riva! is the first film out of the Congo to get U.S. distribution, and director Djo Tunda Wa Munga has made it a hell of an intro: an electric noir with graphic violence, a compulsive soundtrack, and no shortage of startling bouts of sex (however you feel about Scarface, you can't argue that there's nothing about that film that couldn't have been improved with a lesbian hook-up between a hooker and the local commander of the military police). It's a gripping glimpse into a world -- and its underworld -- we're still getting to know.
Click on the player to hear my interview with Munga.
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