Diggers and Merchants: A Congolese Copper Digger

by Beckypublished on 31st January 2022

AFRICA DIRECT: African stories by African filmmakers. Perspectives from a diverse continent; storytelling in the hands of local talent.

Diggers and Merchants, by filmmaker Nelson Makengo, immerses us in a life of exhausting physical labour and brutal conditions.

Josué Mukeba has worked in the copper quarries in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for years. Now he wants a stake in the new order. Faced with a new mining code that requires contractors to be Congolese nationals, he stands up for himself and the other diggers. They do not see themselves as victims; they just want a fair chance and some respect.

Nelson Makengo is a Congolese director, visual artist and producer based in Kinshasa. His short films have won many leading international awards and have been screened worldwide, including at IDFA and Sundance. He recently won the bronze award for his short film Nuit Debout (Up at Night) at FESPACO. He is a Sundance Documentary Film Institute grantee.

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