Downstream to Kinshasa

Directed by Dieudo Hamadi

89 minutes / Color
Swahili; Lingala / English subtitles
Release: 2021
Copyright: 2020

film poster

Over six bloody days in June 2000, the Congolese city of Kisangani was the scene of deadly violence between the Ugandan and Rwandan armies. More than 10,000 shells exploded, killing thousands and injuring thousands more.

Since then, victims of the Six-Day War have fought for recognition and compensation. Uganda has been found guilty of war crimes by the International Court of Justice, but the victims remain uncompensated decades later.

Now, they decide to take matters into their own hands. In the first Congolese film to be an official selection at the Cannes Film Festival, acclaimed director Dieudo Hamadi (Mama Colonel, National Diploma, Ladies in Waiting) captures their long journey down the Congo River to voice their claims in capital city of Kinshasa, seeking justice at last.

“Intense, urgent, and shocking... A film few have yet seen in theaters, to our considerable detriment.” Eric Hynes, Reverse Shot

Downstream proves Hamadi a significant voice in humanist, activist filmmaking, as well as an emerging figure of note telling African stories from perspectives rooted in the communities from which they hail.”Pat Mullen, POV Magazine

A documentary about Sisyphean persistence in the face of institutional indifference, “Downstream to Kinshasa” is riveting. —, The New York Times

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A film by Dieudo Hamadi

Select Accolades

  • Academy Awards, National Submission of the Democratic Republic of Congo 2020
  • Golden Dove Prize and Jury Prize, Dok Leipzig Documentary Festival 2020
  • Special Mention, Toronto International Film Festival 2020
  • Best Documentary, Amiens International Film Festival 2020
  • International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) 2020
  • Cannes Film Festival 2020
  • Doc Lisboa Documentary Film Festival 2020


A quartet of short films (on one DVD) that lay bare the reality of everyday life in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

2010 | 69 minutes | Color | English subtitles

Tens of thousands of women have been raped during 20 years of war in eastern Congo.

Angele Diabang | 2015 | 52 minutes | Color | French | English subtitles

A maternity clinic in the Democratic Republic of Congo copes with its patients' lack of money while trying to provide the best-intentioned care.

Dieudo Hamadi and Divita Wa Lusala | 2010 | 24 minutes | Color | English subtitles

A portrait of Colonel Honorine, or "Mama Colonel," that addresses the issue of violence towards women and children in the DRC.

Dieudo Hamadi | 2017 | 72 minutes | Color | English; French | English subtitles

A group of Congo's high school students desperately tries to pass their final exam in order to graduate.

Dieudo Hamadi | 2017 | 92 minutes | Color | English; French | English subtitles