Produced by Mweze Ngangura
With actors Gerard Essomba, Herbert Flack, Jean-Louis Daulne, Dominique Mesa
not available on DVD or VHS in US
Congolese filmmaker Mweze Ngangura, who made the 1987 La Vie Est Belle with Benoit Lamy, directed this Belgian-French-Congolese comedy about a Congolese king in contemporary Brussels. The title refers to “identity pieces” worn under a business suit to signify regal traditions. Gerard Essomba (the actual grandson of a king) portrays Mani Kongo, King of the Bakongo. Arriving in Brussels on a search for his daughter Mwana-Mwata (Dominique Mesa), King Kongo is unaware that she did time in prison and now dates cabdriver Chaka-Jo (composer Jean-Louis Daulne). In a near miss, King Kongo’s ride from the airport is in Chaka-Jo’s taxi. Policeman and former colonial administrator Jefke Schengen (Herbert Flack) has Mwana dancing at a club, while Mwana’s roommate Safi (Cecilia Kandonda) enters into a romance with royal nephew Mayele (Thilombo Lubambu). Ngangura found some cast members of this film while making his documentary Letter to Makura (1995). The Jean-Louis Daulne music track features soukous singer Papa Wemba in a performance of the title tune. Shown at the 1998 Toronto Film Festival.