Djo Tunda Wa Munga's Viva Riva!, a crime thriller about a gang war ignited by a fuel crisis in the Congo, is generating explosive buzz on the international film circuit. The feature swept the 2011 African Movie Academy Awards, nailing six honors, including Best Picture and Best Director.
The feature first caught the eye of critics when it debuted at the Toronto Film Festival last year. Since then it has garnered praise—and international sales—after being shown at the Berlin Film Festival and the South by Southwest Film Festival.
Delivered in Lingala and French with English subtitles, the story follows Riva (Patscha Bay Mukuna), a small time operator who has just returned to his hometown of Kinshasa, Congo after a decade away, with a major score: a fortune in hijacked gasoline. Riva is soon captivated by the kept woman of a local gangster (Manie Malone), and the plot thickens when an Angolan crime lord relentlessly seeks the return of his stolen gasoline.
Viva Riva! Is scheduled to open in New York and L.A. on June 10 before it’s rolled out nationally. Watch the trailer above.