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Viva Riva


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Product Details

  • Actors: Patsha Bay, Manie Malone, Hoji Fortuna
  • Directors: Djo Tunda Wa Munga
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Music Box Films
  • DVD Release Date: September 27, 2011
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0058MX76Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,925 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Viva Riva" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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.

Review

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

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
Viva Riva is real and dynamic.
film fan
The place is just a dump so going for some recreational drugs and sex is probably seen as a good antidote to the whole thing.
Tommy Dooley
Viva Riva is one of the most vibrant movies I've seen.
C. O. DeRiemer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By AK on June 30, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
Viva Riva is sprinting from the opening shot and never slows down; it is a riot of color that revels in the utterly corrupt marketplace of Kinshasa that ensconces local criminals, military commandants, religious figures, and seemingly every innocent bystander in the city within a corrosive web that would be depressing if it weren't one of the most entertaining films of the year. Djo Munga crafts a film with a remarkable propulsive energy that shies from nothing - violence, sex, drugs, and self-destruction are not something shown with any apology. Kinshasa is one of the largest cities in Africa (over ten million) with one of the highest murder rates in the world (112 per 100,000). It is infested with powerful gangs, a large population of street children, and cheap guns at the root of a region that has been more or less at war since the mid-1990s with every surrounding nation contributing to a smouldering conflict. This is one place where a film with brutal violence and a high body count makes complete sense. Towards that end, one could see Munga's film as exploitation if it were not so well made.

Rather, it captures a tone of brash honesty, avoiding any hand-wringing about its subject matter. This is a work about self-destructive people in one of the most dangerous urban centers on Earth, and their driving force is the internal need for security, wealth, and sex. Life is short in Kinshasa, and it behooves the young to take foolish risks; and who needs a secure future when the world is on fire anyway?

Small time thief Riva (Patsha Bay Mukuna) steals truckloads of gas from an Angolan crime boss, and returns home to throw around some cash, put away liver-bending amounts of beer, and live like a bigshot. He is the man with the fuel, and in a fuel shortage that man owns the town.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AK on June 30, 2011
Format: DVD
Viva Riva is sprinting from the opening shot and never slows down; it is a riot of color that revels in the utterly corrupt marketplace of Kinshasa that ensconces local criminals, military commandants, religious figures, and seemingly every innocent bystander in the city within a corrosive web that would be depressing if it weren't one of the most entertaining films of the year. Djo Munga crafts a film with a remarkable propulsive energy that shies from nothing - violence, sex, drugs, and self-destruction are not something shown with any apology. Kinshasa is one of the largest cities in Africa (over ten million) with one of the highest murder rates in the world (112 per 100,000). It is infested with powerful gangs, a large population of street children, and cheap guns at the root of a region that has been more or less at war since the mid-1990s with every surrounding nation contributing to a smouldering conflict. This is one place where a film with brutal violence and a high body count makes complete sense. Towards that end, one could see Munga's film as exploitation if it were not so well made.

Rather, it captures a tone of brash honesty, avoiding any hand-wringing about its subject matter. This is a work about self-destructive people in one of the most dangerous urban centers on Earth, and their driving force is the internal need for security, wealth, and sex. Life is short in Kinshasa, and it behooves the young to take foolish risks; and who needs a secure future when the world is on fire anyway?

Small time thief Riva (Patsha Bay Mukuna) steals truckloads of gas from an Angolan crime boss, and returns home to throw around some cash, put away liver-bending amounts of beer, and live like a bigshot. He is the man with the fuel, and in a fuel shortage that man owns the town.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 29, 2012
Format: DVD
Kinshasa (the whole Congo, for that matter) is a place of corruption, poverty, injustice, gangs and the need for money. There is also a crisis shortage of gasoline. When Riva (Patsha Bay Mukuna) a small-timer who hustles, makes off with a truck load of gasoline driven in from Angola, Viva Riva revs up to a fast take on crime, revenge and sex.

Riva goes on a spree with a friend and takes us along to the side streets, bars and brothels of Kinshasa. He meets Nora (Manie Malone), beautiful, spoiled, bored and owned by a local crime lord. It's not long before this local boss is after Riva, along with three Angolans he ripped off the gas from, and the police. Nora is with him now. No one wants justice, just the money to be made by selling out Riva, betraying each other and scalping the gas. And Riva? He's having the time of his life. Then the Angolans catch him.

Viva Riva is one of the most vibrant movies I've seen. The director and writer, the Congolese Djo Tunda Wa Munga, sets up a story where the violence is cold and rough, the sex can be rough or easy if you have money, street life and the bars are exciting...but only a brothel owner or two seem to have any long-term sense. They sell their wares and might give some sensible advice, but they don`t get involved. Of course, their girls are a steady source of income for them.

Viva Riva is entertaining in a rip-roaring, sweaty way. Patsha Bay Mukuna makes a charismatic Riva, full of schemes and life until he runs out of both. I doubt Elderhostel will organize trips to Kinshasa in the foreseeable future.
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