Kinshasa Palace (Congo: 2006)


Zeka Laplaine

Cast list

  • Producer: Bakia Films, Histoires Weba
  • Screenplay: Zeka Laplaine
  • Music: Gilles Fournier
  • Cinematographer: Octavio Espirito Santo
  • Editor: Agnès Contensou
  • Running Time: 75 min
  • Genre: Drama - Comedy



* World Premiere


A filmmaker travels across Paris, Lisbon, Kinshasa, and Cambodia in search of a missing brother in this provocative cinematic whatsit, a mix of family mystery, colonial exposé, and Chris Marker-style essay-poem. Filmmaker José Zeka Laplaine plays Kaze, a Paris-based Congolese immigrant looking for his missing brother Max, but finding only dreams and memories: of Congo in the 1970s, when Muhammad Ali was on the television and hope was in the air, or of their father, a white man now returned to Europe while their mother, as proud as ever, stayed in Kinshasa. Created out of family photos, stock footage, and home-video images of several generations of a family still caught between Europe and Africa, Kinshasa Palace refuses to say where reality ends and fiction begins; like its subject Max, it enjoys getting lost along the borders. Between the lines, though, lurk the ramifications of colonialism, family displacement, and the global African diaspora (1).


Variety’s interesting comment on the movie:

Whether Max’s disappearance is real or part of the fiction Laplaine constructs, the stories of family members sent away as children are too raw and honest to be invented from whole cloth. Sister Nenette, sent to Europe as an infant and only sporadically reunited with her parents and siblings, offers the most powerful condemnation of the way Congo’s wars have torn apart the fabric of family life (2).

Works Cited

  1. “Film.” Africultures. Long Métrage, 2006. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.
  2. “Variety.” Variety. Jay Weissberg, 31 Oct. 2006. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.