Pièces d’identités (Pieces of Identity) (Congo: 1998)


Mweze Ngangura

Cast list


  • Producer: Mweze Ngangura
  • Screenplay: Mweze Ngangura
  • Music: Jean-Louis Daulne and Papa Wemba
  • Cinematography: Jacques Besse
  • Editors: France Duez and Ingrid Ralet
  • Running Time: 93 min



  • Audience Award at the 8th Festival of African Cinema of Milan in 1998 and
  • The Grand Prix at FESPACO in Ouagadougou in 1999 (3).


Pièces d'Identités is the timeless story of an old king, his beautiful if wayward daughter, a dragon of sorts and the prince charming that rescues them; it even has a happy ending. At the same time, Ngangura's simple fable raises some of the most troubling issues of identity facing people of African descent in the ever-widening Diaspora of the late 20th century (1).


Los Angeles Times’ interesting comment:

“That is one of the aspects of Africa that I wanted to bring to light with the film: the coexistence of the two powers," Ngangura said. "The old traditional system of kings [largely supplanted by colonization in the '60s] is still important to the people. Especially in the village. People in the villages believe the king has a kind of spiritual power. And even when they move to the city they still maintain a connection with their village of origin. “In town, however, there are no kings. No kings in Kinshasa. There the republic has the real power because they have the army and they have the administration. So, often, when I show the film the audience reacts with surprise [that there are still kings in Africa]. 'Oh! A king. A king!' Yet it is one of the realities of Africa, even today (2).”

Works Cited

  1. “California Newsreel – PIECES D’IDENTITES.” California Newsreel – PIECES D’IDENTITES. California   Newsreel, n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.
  2. 03, February. “Village Tradition From Contemporary African Filmmaker.” Los Angeles Times. Los   Angeles Times, 03 Feb. 1999. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.
  3. “Pieces D’identites (Pieces of Identity).” African Film Festival Inc. N.p., 2014. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.