“Augure”: Musician and artist Baloji’s magical real-life journey through the Congo

“Augure”: Musician and artist Baloji’s magical real-life journey through the Congo

You get more regularly August Feeling like you took malaria medicine while traveling to the Congo, which causes you to hallucinate. Realistic moments and stories alternate with fairytale scenes – Hansel and Gretel in the Congolese jungle – or scenes bordering on horror – the main character trapped in a religious mask having nails driven into it.

The debut of successful musician and multi-disciplinary artist Baloji is a magical and sobering journey. The film contains four storylines surrounding the characters who are viewed as “satanic” or “sinful” in the society they are born into. The first is about immigrant Kofi (Mark Zenga) who returns to his native Congo after eighteen years to propose to his white wife and pay a dowry. Although he does everything he can to meet the demands of his distant family, they constantly view him as possessed. The film also follows a young man, Paco (Marcel Otiti Kabia), who leads an urban gang wearing dirty pink miniskirts, and the tragic history of Kofi's cold mother, Majila, is also discussed. They are all suffering from superstition and conservatism and are looking for a way out in their own way.


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An interview with director Baloji about his first film “Augure”

You'll immediately understand why this debut was chosen for Cannes. Not only does Baloji venture into current and harsh themes: the divided identity of the African diaspora, and the impact of tradition and colonialism in a film that offers no clear insights, but it feels like a compelling and fascinating experience whose images and questions are often beautiful. It pops up in your head later. Just like the earworms that Baloji is sometimes able to produce as a musician; Numbers like “Indian winter”where you start dancing almost automatically and only later realize that the text is about the culture shock of Africans arriving in Europe.

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