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By Thierry Michel

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Zaire's evolution could be considered to have unfolded in four periods - each period represented by one figure: the first period is that of the men who speak of liberty, democracy and happiness; it led to independence with Lumumba which turned sour and there was unrest everywhere.
Then Tschombé, the Lion, took over by force and he spoke only of order, of a return to the rule of law; after this second period came the third, that of the Leopard who, though he spoke like a man, was a feline and thug imposed iron discipline. This enabled him to endure for years and his name is Mobutu.
The fourth period is the one we live in now. The Leopard has reached the end of this cycle and the cycle of the Serpent is beginning. The Serpent is the security service and ail those who collaborated with it to impose and maintain the dictatorship. The Serpent jacks subtlety and he will try to clamp down again and again until man revolts and speaks again of liberty and democracy and this is what is happening now in Zaire.

A coproduction Les Films de la Passerelle, Les Films d'Ici, Centre du Cinéma et de l'audiovisuel de la Communauté Française de Belgique et des distributeurs wallons, RTBF Télévision belge, VRT Canvas, VAF, YLE, TSR, VPRO - DGCD - Wallimage - EVS - XDC

Technical sheet
Year: 1992
Duration: 58' & 85'
Language: French
Screenplay & Direction: Thierry Michel
Assistants: Rhita Kafutshi & Pierre N'Tantu
Cinematography: Michel Téchy
Sound: André Brugmans
Editing: Marie-Hélène Quinton
Music: Bashila Kabongo
Christine Pireaux - Les Films de la Passerelle
Festival selections (23)

General States of the Documentary - Lussas

World Film Festival - Montreal

International French-Language Film Festival - Namur

Geography Festival - Saint-Dié

Nominated for the Joseph Plateau Award - Ghent

International Film Festival of Amiens

Amascultura - Lisbon

Encontros International

Doc Leipzig

DocumentART 93 - Neubrandenburg

International Social Film Festival - Charleroi

International African Film Festival - Ouagadougou

Futura Award - Berlin

International Documentary Film Festival - Munich

Saint-Malo Amazing Travellers

INPUT - Bristol

International Film Festival - Calcutta

Black Movie - Geneva

Filminitiativ - Cologne

International Film Festival of Bombay

Planet of the People, Centre Georges Pompidou

Images Moreover - Paris

RECIDAK - Senegal

Awards (6)

★ Special Jury Prize - Silver Sesterce & Audience Award at the International Festival of Nyon

★ Silver Medal for Creative Documentary at URTI - Monte Carlo

★ Nanook Prize at the 12th Ethnographic Assessment in Paris

★ Golden Screen Award at the "Vues d'Afrique" Festival in Montreal

★ Certificate of Merit at the 38th Cork Film Festival - Ireland

★ Grand Prize at "Filmer à tout prix" - Brussels

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