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5 Must-See Documentaries About What Is Going On in the Democratic Republic of Congo

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One of the most neglected refugee crises in the world happening today is that of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The country is in the midst of one of the most extensive internal displacement and humanitarian crises globally. According to the International Organization for Migration’s Chief of Mission (IOM) in the DRC, 6.9 million Congolese are internally displaced, with a significant concentration in the Eastern region due to a prolonged and complex conflict that lead to decades of violence, including killings, rape, and war crimes reported by the Human Rights Watch since late 2022, that have resulted in a dire humanitarian crisis.

Moreover, the vast Central African country ranks as the second-largest on the continent and the 11th largest globally, making it one of the most mineral-rich regions. It boasts untapped mineral deposits estimated to be worth a staggering $24 trillion, including gold, diamonds, cobalt, and zinc. But despite its abundance of natural resources, Congo is one of the poorest nations in the world— a harrowing reality that is only being exacerbated by the prolonged and complex conflict. 

Regardless of the complexity of the conflict, one thing remains unequivocal: human lives are in jeopardy. To help deepen your understanding and expand your knowledge on the long-standing and intricate violence that have plagued this region for decades, we have compiled a curated selection of films by British director and founder of Earth Water Films, April Walker, below. 

This is Congo (2017) 

Daniel McCabe

A whistleblower, a patriotic military commander, a mineral dealer, and a displaced tailor share a glimpse of life amid Africa’s longest continuing conflict.

Blood in the Mobile (2010) 

Frank Poulsen

The filmmaker directly connects cell phone purchases to the civil war in Congo through conflict minerals.

City of Joy (2016)

Madeleine Gavin

Madeline Gavin follows the story of three individuals who imagined a place where women who have suffered horrific rape and abuse can heal and become powerful voices of change for their country. 

Virunga (2014) 

Danny Schechter

A team of brave individuals risk their lives to protect the last mountain gorillas.

Crisis in Congo (2012) 

Orlando von Einsiedel

This documentary explores the role that the United States and its allies have played in orchestrating the largest humanitarian crisis in the 21st century. 

Photo: Richard Mosse

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