Jean-Michel Kibushi: Palabres Animées du Griot
by Jean-Michel Kibushi Ndjate Wooto
color & black and white, 72 min, 1991-2004
with English subtitles
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Jean-Michel Kibushi Ndjate Wooto (also know as Kibushi Ndjate Wooto and Jean-Michel Kibushi) is a pioneer of African animation, and is widely considered to be the first Congolese animator. This compilation DVD brings together five of his best-known works from 1991 to 2004.
While all use stop motion animation, Kibushi draws widely on materials — from jointed paper cutouts, to clay, to puppetry to children's drawings — set against elaborate backgrounds to convey poignant social and political messages. Whether offering traditional wisdom or political critiques, these animated films capture the spirit and culture of the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The DVD includes:
The Toad Visits His In-Laws (Le Crapaud Chez Ses Beaux-Parents) watch a preview
color, 8 min, 1991
Based on a Tetela fable, this short film tells how the fight over the only spoon between toad and his friends ruins the feast for all.
The White Orange
color, 14 min, 1992
In part two of The Toad Visits His In-Laws the Toad's wife seeks the Sage's wisdom to restore order and bring back her husband and friends.
Kinshasa, Black September
black and white, 7 min, 1992
Kibushi uses children's drawings as the visuals in this "animated documentary" portraying the violent 1991 coup in the DR Congo's capital city.
Muana Mboka watch a preview
color, 14 min, 1999
This film presents a devastating portrait of a society rife with corruption, as experienced by a young boy in Kinshasa trying to survive.
Prince Loseno watch a preview
color, 29 min, 2004
This short film utilizes intricate clay animation to tell of King Ngolo, who is without a male heir. Jealousies among his three wives and with his first love — now the court witch doctor — thwart birth of a successor. Finally blessed with a male heir, the king dies during the Prince's coronation; "Birth and death are twins in the destiny of man," concludes the narrator-griot.
Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Jury Prize: Prize of the City of St. George Didonne, Festival Plein Sud, France, 2005 (Prince Loseno)
Special Mention Short Film Jury, FESPACO, Burkina Faso, 2005 (Prince Loseno)
Film Award of Hope COE, FESPACO, Burkina Faso, 2005 (Prince Loseno)
SIGNIS Jury Special Mention, Festival of Milano, Italy, 2005
Grand of the French Community - Short Film, Int'l Film Festival of Brussels, Belgium, 2000 (Muana Mboka)
Public Award of Commons Royannais, Festival Plein Sud, France, 2000 (Muana Mboka)
Best Reportage "Animated Political Documentary Film", Cameras Youth, Belgium, 1994 (Septembre Noir)
First Prize Short Film, Int'l Festival of Fribourg, Switzerland, 1992 (Le Crapaud)
FICAM, Morocco, 2006 (Prince Loseno)
Rencontres Internationales du Cinéma d'Animation de Wissembourg, France, 2006 (Prince Loseno)
ARTE France (Prince Loseno, Muana Mboka, Kinshasa, Black September, Le Crapaud)
Canal France Int'l (Prince Loseno, Muana Mboka, Kinshasa, Black September, Le Crapaud)
Canal Plus, France (Prince Loseno, Muana Mboka, Kinshasa, Black September, Le Crapaud)
RTBF, Belgium (Prince Loseno, Muana Mboka, Kinshasa, Black September, Le Crapaud)
RTNC, DRC (Prince Loseno, Muana Mboka, Kinshasa, Black September, Le Crapaud)
TSR, Switzerland (Prince Loseno, Muana Mboka, Kinshasa, Black September, Le Crapaud)
TV5 Afrique (Prince Loseno, Muana Mboka, Kinshasa, Black September, Le Crapaud)
Video: Interview with Jean-Michel Kibushi (7 min)