“Où est Riva?” (Where is Riva?)
An Oil Thief Flames Out in Kinshasa
With comparisons to 2007’s Cidade de Deus and reviews describing the film as a “Congolese noir”, Riva succeeds in making the latter description fitting, while the former hope remains to be seen.
Djo Munga’s film opens at a fast-paced in media res, which is also a favorite first act of American film noir pictures and their overseas cousins (ex. the Jean Gabin-starring Le jour se leve memorably opens with the trapped criminal shoutin’ and rantin’ from his barricaded room). And within the picture’s first 20 minutes, all of the typical film noir signature archetypes stroll onto the screen as this chase story unfolds.