UP AT NIGHT
Democratic Republic of Congo
Three separate screens foreground the resilience of a population that reinvents light in front of an invisible government.
“Shot on the streets of Kinshasa, Nelson Makengo’s Up At Night is a nocturnal ode to the endurance, resilience and hope of its citizens. Forced to live in intermittent darkness by an absent government, Makengo depicts, with tableaux-like clarity, the measures taken by its people to bring light back to the city. The symbolism of the light and the practicalities of creating it gives the film a dystopian edge - gasoline is poured into generators, batteries are sourced. Through its triptych of frames and Makengo’s filmic painting with light and shadow, the film is frequently imbued with a reverence that recalls the faith and form of the Renaissance masters.”
— Tom Grimshaw