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Riva is 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. Wads of cash in hand and out for a good time, Riva is soon entranced by beautiful night club denizen Nora, the kept woman of a local gangster. Into the mix comes an Angolan crime lord relentlessly seeking the return of his stolen shipment of gasoline. Director Djo Tunda Wa Munga s Kinshasa is a seductively vibrant, lawless, fuel-starved sprawl of shantytowns, gated villas, bordellos and nightclubs and Riva is its perfect embodiment.
Viva Riva! FOUR STARS After a ten-year absence, prodigal hood Riva (Mukana) returns home to Kinshasa, Congo s capital city, flush with cash and stolen barrels of petrol. Poised to make a killing on the scarce commodity, he s distracted by an even rarer prize the ripe redhead Nora (Malone), who s the insouciant arm candy of a local thug. Stealing Nora turns out to be a cinch compared with dodging a trio of angry Angolan heavies, led by dapper don Cesar (Fortuna), who ll spare no expense nor lives to get their gas back. The first major motion picture to come out of Congo in decades happens to be one of the best neonoirs from anywhere in recent memory. Mukana s hedonistic Riva is a fascinating antihero, thrilling to watch but impossible to love, while Malone s femme fatale perfectly mixes sauciness with soulfulness. Rather than saddle the film with political portent, first-timer Djo Munga holds fast to the rules of the genre, slipping in symbolism through the back door. It s a world without innocents, where soldiers shake down civilians, priests extort gangsters, and everyone has a price. Munga s restrained, surprisingly mature visual style actually deepens the impact of Viva s swift turns to brutality, and his taste for rampant kinky sex cunnilingus through a gated window is the film s idea of a first date is a genuine turn-on. Más Riva, please. --Eric Hynes, TimeOut New York
I found this movie in a top 10 list of African movies...said it was a must see. I didn't think this was a romance movie, often colloquially referred as to chick flick. Read morePublished 4 months ago by RobRock
Viva Riva is real and dynamic. This is not the Africa of the lions and giraffes. This is the Africa of a real place, real people and skullduggery of a universal kind. Read morePublished 17 months ago by film fan
Nice movie, nice picture, nice item, excellent seller. I bought this movie for my girl friend but until now, I didn't give her. I'm still watching it. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Jean Modeste
Not what I expected. But the short film "PAPY" is worth the price of the main feature. The short film is based on the true story of a man dealing with his status of being HIV... Read morePublished on July 13, 2013 by rayalen
This is easily the best Neo Noir film in two or three decades. This is what a crime movie should be like, well written, wonderfully acted and amazingly directed. Read morePublished on April 15, 2013 by L. Milenkovic
Enjoyed this excellent Congolese movie, the first of its kind online and for a very decent price!
It was swift and effective. Read more
The synopsis for this African tale says that Riva! is an `operator' and a man with `charm and ambition'. Read morePublished on November 23, 2012 by Tommy Dooley