Although criticizing the ever-connected zombie culture isn't anything new, there is a refreshing joie de vivre in the way Baloji tackles this tedious subject. The Congolese-born, Belgium-based multi-hyphenate draws from the electrifying energy of Kinshasa City itself to craft a meticulously art-directed, heavily-stylized, and powerfully-written music video that reveres and ridicules modern Congo at the same time.
Best approached as an extended video clip. Despite the troubling topic it just flows so smoothly and effortlessly. Beautiful costumes, great music and dancing sequences. You could certainly say that this feature does not discover anything new nor is it groundbreaking - but it definitely has its charm and sticks with you. The ending is strong and the end credits just brilliant!
Un derroche de buenas decisiones en medio de tanto videoclip musical insulso y lleno de carros costos y estupideces. La mezcla de locaciones parecidas a cualquier otra de un videoclip tradicional con la pobreza, la contaminación y la cotidianidad ayudan a crear un efecto de extrañamiento alto. Además, la música es pegajosa y las coreografías llamativas. Conocer cine de latitudes como están amplían el panorama.
"Talking about the visuals that inspired the film, Baloji explains: 'I was reminded of a photograph by John Stanmeyer of migrants on a shore in Djibouti—raising their phones in the air to try and catch a signal. This picture illuminates our relationship with our phones.'” - Baloji as quoted on Nowness.
A potentially interesting thought: the cultural cross-influence between Africa and the western world might be quite palpable in this short film. The capacity of strongly conveying a message* with no verbal dialogue is admirable. Photography / acting / dancing / colouring / editing / music were all very good; most of them beautiful. * But then, I'm not certain "message" would be the right word here.
This short piece is easy to digest and confronts by ridiculing our modern mainstream cellular life. As compressed as our social experience is in our tiny electronics, the more vivid and inventive the expressions in this movie talk to our consience. This piece opens a dimension of realness which is a true comodity in our society and of which there seems to be a relieving abundance left in the heart of Africa.