More details on the next project from Director Djo Munga and producer Steven Markovitz (of Viva Riva! fame and prestige) have emerged.  Back in March, we heard that the duo were seeking funding – in China and beyond – for Inspector Lou, billed as a Sino-African thriller.

We’ve now learned more from South Africa’s City Press, including a more detailed synopsis:

A Chinese detective whose partner was killed 15 years ago by a gangster finds out that the killer is living in the DRC. He flies to Kinshasa to take revenge, working with a local cop. He soon discovers, however, that his enemy has become a major crimelord.

Djo Munga on the set of Viva Riva!

Of the storyline, Munga has said (speaking to The Hollywood Reporter) that “I didn’t want to do a stereotypical story about the ‘bad Chinese stealing African resources.’ This won’t be a political film, but a film about the stories of these people, how they have changed Congo and how Congo has changed them,” noting that the image of the Chinese exploiter in the West doesn’t resonate with him.

“One of my characters is a Chinese woman living in Kinshasa and I think it would be great to have a Chinese actress on screen speaking Lingala and French in addition to Cantonese.”

Characterizing their work as a “new approach to African Cinema,” Munga’s focus has been not only on capturing dynamics that incite reflection on society, but a distribution model that makes that possible.  So, Markovitz (of Big World Cinema) and Munga (of Suka! Productions) are teaming up with Nigerian/Kenyan distributors 234 Media, looking to market the film in Africa as well as China.

Soon, Viva Riva! will be released in 19 more countries, and translated into Swahili.  Munga and Markovitz hope to start shooting Inspector Lou late next year.

Steven Markovitz

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