Tongo Saa

Rising Up at Night
Darkness falls over Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and its 17 million inhabitants. It is just before Christmas and people are struggling to gain access to electric light. Kudi is mobilising the residents of his Kisenso neighbourhood to collect money for a new power cable. On Mount Mangengenge, a holy place overlooking the city, Pastor Gédéon delivers a sermon about the light of Christ as the path to life and truth. Davido is searching for a place to stay after his house was flooded by the Congo River. Together with other young men, he kills time by working out and dreams of a better future.
Tongo Saa is a sensitive portrait of the residents of Kinshasa as they face the challenges of life in an environment plagued by violence and coloured by the uncertainty of tomorrow.
by Nelson Makengo Democratic Republic of the Congo / Belgium / Germany / Burkina Faso / Qatar 2024 Lingola 96’ Colour World premiere | Debut film | Documentary form


Director Nelson Makengo
Screenplay Nelson Makengo
Cinematography Nelson Makengo
Editing Inneke Van Waeyenberghe
Music Bao Sissoko, Wouter Vandenabeele
Sound Design Franck Moka
Sound Moimi Wezam
Producers Rosa Spaliviero, Dada Kahindo Siku
Co-Producers Florian Schewe, Michel K. Zongo, Marie Logie, Samuel Feller, Isabelle Christiaens
Co-Production Film Five Berlin
Diam Production Ouagadougou
Auguste Orts Brüssel
Magellan Films Brüssel
RTBF Brüssel

Produced by

Mutotu Productions

Nelson Makengo

The filmmaker’s work navigates the border between contemporary art and film. His 2019 film Up at Night screened at over 100 festivals worldwide and won the award for Best Short at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. He has worked as a director with Aljazeera and Meta. He is a fellow of the Sundance Documentary Film Institute and the Doha Film Institute.


2016 Tabu; short documentary 2017 Souvenir d’un été; short documentary · Théâtre Urbain (Urban Theater); short documentary 2018 E'ville; short documentary 2019 Nuit debout (Up at Night); short documentary 2024 Tongo Saa (Rising Up at Night); documentary

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024