Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

This is an amazing piece of locative film-making, easily on a par with 2011 Oscar Nominee Madagascar for the quality and ease with which it evokes a place. Rather than dizzyingly spiralling through a variety of techniques, Kin "gets by" with one, but uses it with such conviction and aplomb that it must be commended.

Kinshasa is a city built on circularity, recycling. 'A social portrait' is Kin, and a good one. In stop motion, with people and places built of old cans and bottles and clay and wire and this and that and the other, introductory head shots, landscapes by implicature, sand-drawings of complex processes and a ring-pulled moon it's a visual treat. Beercan aeroplanes in stark-white skies, wire-wheeled wonders carrying characters and plot. In Koli Jean Bofane's voice-over and music make it an auditory one as well.

The story is a simple one, with a surprise to it at the end. The layers of movement of people and goods serve ably to illustrate that "a new rope is always made from an old one".

It's possibly the only film you'll see with a sea made of rolling metal, but it's that level of invention and ingenuity that makes it brilliant. Elements of the character designs are sometimes met with realisation - this is that repurposed, this is what this suggests. With actual footage of Kinshasa over the credits the inspirations are clear, and credibly interpreted.

Daniel Colin, Alain Essange, and William Henne's script has the ring of truth, and while Henne also directs it's clear this was a collective effort, and a great one.

Reviewed on: 07 Feb 2012
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Photography and recycling in Kinshasa.
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Director: William Henne

Writer: Daniel Colin, Alain Essange, William Henne

Year: 2010

Runtime: 11 minutes

Country: Belgium


Glasgow 2012

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