THE OPINION OF THE “WORLD” – NOT TO BE MISSED
Between June 5 and 10, 2000, an unrecognized conflict took place called the “six-day war”, where the Ugandan and Rwandan armies fought on neighboring land, that of the Democratic Republic of the Congo then in the midst of civil war, and more precisely in the city of Kisangani, which was their meeting point. Particularly intense and violent, the clash caused many victims among Congolese civilians (nearly 1,200 dead and 3,000 wounded, according to Amnesty International), who found themselves under cross fire from the two foreign formations, “collateral” targets of a hostility which did not concern them directly. In 2005, the International Court of Justice found Uganda responsible for “war crimes”, paving the way for reparation which would however get bogged down in the twists and turns of inter-state negotiations.
Kisangani is precisely the city where one of the most talented documentary filmmakers of his generation, Dieudo Hamadi, was born in 1984 and revealed with films as astounding asAtalaku (2013), State examination (2014) or Mother Colonel (2017). For more than ten years, Hamadi has described Congolese life from a citizen perspective, chronicle film after film of the long and bumpy democratic apprenticeship of a country barely recovering from the decades of Mobutu’s dictatorship. This gifted filmmaker with an infallible instinct and a sharp eye has no equal when it comes to placing his camera in the exact place where collective and individual destinies intersect.
A long journey
In 2018, when Hamadi began filming the members of the Association of Victims of the Six-Day War, women and men who bear physical stigmata in the form of mutilation, they have been asking for reparation for eighteen years, thirteen that they are waiting for the compensation provided for by the judgment of the International Court (the famous “billion”). In the meantime, everyone manages as best they can with their disability and dilapidated prostheses, the infirm being often rejected by society as unnecessary mouths to feed. The association offers a refuge where one practices a sport, theater, and especially a group brought to constitute itself politically. It is this constitution which is the object ofWaiting for the billion, taking the form of a long journey: the one that the disabled people decide to make across the whole country to the capital Kinshasa, to have their rights recognized.
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