Tsofa: A documentary film about Congolese immigrants in Romania

Congolese (Brazzaville) filmmaker Rufin Mbou Mikima has uploaded* his latest documentary “Tsofa” to YouTube. The film tells the story of a group of Congolese men, many of them highly qualified university graduates who got offered a 600 euro/month job by a Romanian company to go and work as taxi drivers in Bucharest, the European country’s capital. “To Romanians, black people living in their country must be either football players, or students,” Mbou Mikima notes in one of the film’s opening scenes. He first met the group back in 2008 while working in Bucharest himself. Through the use of the men’s own photos, mobile phone images and other video material, he retraces their initial steps, hopes and expectations, where it went wrong (it did), and what happened after the return of some of them to Congo (Brazza). Conversations, interviews, voice-over and subtitles are in French and Lingala. (No English subs, unfortunately.) The result is a sensible document. Bonus: music by Fredy Massamba.  Continue reading