M'pongo (1982)

Run Time - 80 min.  |   Countries - Congo (Brazzaville)  |  
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In this film set in a small village in the Congo, one of the villagers' favorite pastimes is to either watch or participate in a form of very civilized "fighting" that involves two young men in loin cloths, each trying to get a grip to flip the other to the ground. The action is over within a few seconds, and then another pair of fighters takes a turn, all the while reminded by the referee not to hurt each other since fighting is a sport, after all. An important match is coming up and the people in the village are backing their favorite who spends his time in training with a Belgian coach, getting ready for the big day. Meanwhile, a love-struck teenager (Albertine Naglou) sketches the village hero, the object of her secret affections. There are also interim scenes showing the local market, special dances in colorful costumes, and a sub-plot about a married merchant who has a few women on the side. When the day for the long-awaited match comes, alas, the favorite loses. And he does not seem at all capable of just accepting defeat and walking away. That is when the anonymous heroine steps in and saves the day for him -- but whether or not she will be rewarded for her act is another question.

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Keywords

fight, love, teenagers, wager