"One of the most ambitious pieces of political theatre ever staged" THE GUARDIAN
The Congo Tribunal
- in post-production -
Cinema Documentary, Germany / Switzerland 2017, 90'
Triggered by the Rwandan genocide of 1994 and based on the direct or indirect involvement of all of the great powers of our time, the Congo War, also referred to as the "Third World War", has claimed up to six million lives. Many observers not only see in it a fight about political predominance in Central Africa, but also one of the most decisive economic division-battles in the era of globalization. While the number of rebel armies involved may be intransparent, even more intransparent are the arms dealers operating in the supply lines, the role of foreign diplomats and humanitarian relief organizations, but also the involvement of multinational mining companies.
In May 2015, "The Congo Tribunal" brought together the main protagonists and analysts of the Congo War in Bukavu – the provincial capital of South Kivu, the province in the Congo most affected by the war – and one month later in Berlin for a large, three-day tribunal. Presided over by a half-Congolese and half-international panel of experts as well as the two leading human rights lawyers in the region, the central lines of the conflict in the Congo War have been examined based on hearings with victims, witnesses, militia officers, politicians, UN and NGO members, commodity traders and local human rights activists. Unlike the International Criminal Court or national courts, not only the local players, rebel leaders and lowrank soldiers were held accountable in front of the Congo Tribunal but also their international accomplices who provided the supply lines for this atrocious civil war or prevented its cessation.
Written and directed by internationally acclaimed director Milo Rau, "The Congo Tribunal" creates an unshrouded portrait of one of the biggest and bloodiest economic wars in human history. as well as of its economic and political causes and its tangible face on the ground. Why do all the efforts of the UN (which does not shy away from the term "genocide") and the processes against the militias conducted by the International Criminal Court remain completely ineffective? Is the reason perhaps that the war in the Congo is not being allowed come to an end that too many local and international players are involved in the booming commodity trade in the Eastern Congo? And will this war decide the future order of the global community?
"The Congo Tribunal" is designed as a cross-platform trial, consisting of the feature length cinema documentary, a theatre performance, an interactive web format, a book and a live blog.
"One of the most ambitious pieces of political theatre ever staged! Mixing a court of law with the theatrics of the stage, a landmark project investigates the 20-year DRC conflict, hearing from real victims, politicians and big business alike.“
"Wahnsinnsaktion! Dass Theater geht an die Front. (...) Hier wird zwar auch Vergangenheit gehoben, aber eigentlich soll Zukunft entwickelt werden. Die Art, wie agiert wird, ist von einer exemplarischen Transparenz und Trockenheit: Es ist ein Rausch der Fakten, der sich hier abspielt. Ein Spiel, das normbildend sein will. (...) Es ist also nur ein Modell – aber als solches von hohem Wert. Auch die Datensammlung, die hier, provoziert von den Fragen des Gerichts, entsteht, dürfte einmalig sein…“.
"Ce film devra porter à travers le monde l’immense exigence de justice qui hante le peuple congolais. Pour qu’enfin la vérité soit dite, pour que les millions de morts anonymes ne soient pas oubliés et puissent enfin trouver le repos.“
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THE CONGO TRIBUNAL is a film and theatre production of Milo Rau and the IIPM – International Institute of Political Murder
Written & directed by Milo Rau
Research & Casting – Eva-Maria Bertschy
Stage Design – Anton Lukas
Assistant Director – Mirjam Knapp
DoP– Thomas Schneider
Sound – Marco Teufen
Editor – Katja Dringenberg
Line Production – Mascha Euchner-Martinez, Eva-Karen Tittmann, Kirsten Schauries
Executive Producer I Producer Crossmedia – Sebastian Lemke
Producers – Arne Birkenstock, Olivier Zobrist, Milo Rau
The film is a German-Swiss coproduction of Fruitmarket Arts & Media and Langfilm with IIPM and Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen SRF & Radio Télévision Suisse RTS, funded by Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien BKM, Bundesamt für Kultur (EDI) Schweiz, Zürcher Filmstiftung, Deutscher Filmförderfonds, Kulturförderung Kanton St. Gallen / Swisslos, Volkart Stiftung.
Distributed by Real Fiction Filmverleih