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Film Clapboard
Colette and Justin
Original Title:
Colette Et Justin
88 minutes
France and Belgium
Lingala, French, with English subtitles
Alain Kassanda
The Belgians own the Congo in the year 1960, not that they would ever claim to. Instead, they tout the country’s “free and fair” elections, while covertly enforcing trade regulations highly lucrative for themselves and for their companies. The punishments for those who refuse these shackles of paternalism? Disenfranchisement, destruction, death–even permanent bodily maiming. In Colette and Justin, filmmaker Alain Kassanda conducts an interview with his grandparents to capture a startlingly unique lens–that of a Congolese politician once completely under the thumb of Belgian tyranny, and a wife once forced to grapple between raising children in a fearsome home, or abroad in some strange land.
“Kassanda expresses his surprise at his grandfather’s stand. But his is the fate of offspring of the many corrupt or inept or self-serving or merely politically pragmatic personalities dotting Africa’s post-independence landscape. If these offspring ever take a break from their cushioned, heavily westernised lives to parse just where exactly their privilege originates from, they, too, may be in shock at the stories of their forebears.”
(Oris Aigbokhaevbolo -- The Film Verdict)
+ Cinéma du Réel: Grand Prize
+ FIFDH Geneva Creative Documentary Competition: Gilda Vieira De Mello Award
Presented By: 
The Documentary Salon
Sponsored By:
Center for Africanamerican Studies and the Economy

Event Schedule


March 27


McConomy Auditorium

Screening Time:


Doors Open:


Pre-screening Event(s)

Fufu and Stew Tasting from African Cuisine!

Post-screening Event(s)

Q&A Zoom Discussion with CMU Professor of History Edda Fields-Black

Additional Event(s)

Event Decoration
Alain Kassanda

Director Bio

Born in Kinshasa, Alain Kassanda left the DRC for France at the age of 11. He has programmed several film festivals such as Ghett’Out Film Festival at the Brattle Theatre in Boston and BAM in New York. Kassanda has also been the film programmer for the movie-theater Les 39 marches in Sevran, near Paris, for five years and created the festival A hauteur d’enfant, committed to films narrated from children’s perspectives. As a spoken word artist, Kassanda is also known as Apkass, one of the founder members of the poetry collective Chant d’encre, largely inspired by role-models like The Last Poets and Gil Scott-Heron. COLETTE & JUSTIN is his first feature length film, after TROUBLE SLEEP, a mid-length documentary shot in Ibadan (Nigeria) where he lived from 2015 to 2019. His other new film COCONUT HEAD GENERATION won the Cinéma du Réel Grand Prize 2023.

With a Special Thank You to

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