Mama Colonel

Directed by Dieudo Hamadi

72 minutes / Color
English; French / English subtitles
Release: 2017
Copyright: 2017

Colonel Honorine Manyole, commonly known as "Mama Colonel," works for the Congolese police force and heads the unit for the protection of minors and the fight against sexual violence. Having worked for 15 years in Bukavu, in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, she learns she is transferred to Kisangani. There, she finds herself faced with new challenges.

Through the portrait of this extraordinarily brave and tenacious woman, who fights for justice to be done, this film addresses the issue of violence towards women and children in the DRC and the difficulty of overcoming the past war.

"Disciplined, succint, and effective. Documentarian Dieudo Hamadi follows the work of a senior Congolese policewoman in charge of stopping sexual violence and physical abuse against women and children in the African country." Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter

“An important film that goes beyond news stories to see victims of war and understand their experience. Manyole encourages community support as many victims are impoverished. She brings hope to those who think they are forgotten." Barb Kundanis, Longmont Public Library in the journal Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)

"Powerful; we are mesmerized by Mama Colonel Honorine’s endless energy and compassion. [Director Dieudo Hamadi] has a deep understanding of and connection to the stories he tells." Rachel Gabara, Ph.D., University of Georgia, in the journal African Studies Review

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Select Accolades

  • Best Film Tagesspiegel Prize and Jury Prize, 2017 Berlinale Film Festival
  • Grand Prize, 2017 Cinema du Reel Documentary Festival
  • North American Premiere, 2017 HotDocs Film Festival
  • U.S. Premiere, 2017 AFI Docs Documentary Film Festival
  • Official Selection, 2018 ACT Human Rights Film Festival
  • Official Selection, 2017 Sheffield Documentary Film Festival


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 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