Image for Mulika




An afronaut emerges from the wreckage of a spaceship in the volcanic crater of Mount Nyiragongo. As he descends into the city below, encountering the people of present-day Goma, he begins to understand what he must do to change the future for his people

Threads of afrofuturism and the double-edged sword of new technologies have regularly appeared throughout GSFF programmes in previous years – think of stunning shorts like Frances Bodomo’s Afronauts (GSFF17), Kordae Jatafa Henry’s Earth Mother, Sky Father (GSFF21) and Baloji’s Zombies (GSFF20). The aesthetics and subject matter of the latter are undeniably evoked in Mulika, which continues exploration of the aforementioned themes, though Maisha Maene leans into a lo-fi sci-fi approach that gives the film a more searching, raw and contemplative quality. Focusing on issues around resource extraction, exploitation and a desire for a better future for Congo’s people, the film follows an afronaut’s exploration of nighttime Goma. By balancing fantastical genre elements with a documentaristic feel and a muted palette, Maene proposes visions of progress and spiritual connection without losing grounding in today’s realities, while the film's poetic narration and sound design create an immersive and contained atmosphere that culminates in a gorgeous final scene, creating space for alternative futures and hope.

Sanne Jehoul

Director filmography: APA (2021), No Mask (2021), Mother Nature (2020), Regard (2018)

  • Director Maisha Maene
  • Country The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Year 2022
  • Duration 14m
  • Scottish Premiere


Bill Douglas Award 6: Each their own frontiers

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