Congolese Director Djo Munga Aims to Revitalize a Nation's Film Industry with the Gripping Gangster Thriller 'Viva Riva!'
Djo Tunda Wa Munga didn’t have to return to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he was born and spent the first nine years of his life, to make his terrifically entertaining feature debut, Viva Riva! In fact, filming the erotically charged film noir, which he likens to the movies of Quentin Tarantino and True Romance director Tony Scott, might have been easier if he’d stayed in Belgium, where a cinema workshop Munga attended in 1993 inspired him to enroll in film school.
When he appeared before the U.S. Senate in 1991, nine years before joining the board of directors of the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function, Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart spoke of the healing power of music, and how it might be instrumental in restoring the morale and mental health of the aged.
Little did Hart know at the time that his own music, like that of ’60s contemporaries Bob Dylan, Buffalo Springfield and The Beatles, would ultimately resuscitate Jim Kohlberg’s movie The Music Never Stopped, adapted from an essay by Dr. Oliver Sacks about the power of song to help a brain-damaged amnesiac recover lost memories.