The Mercy of the Jungle

Directed by Joël Karekezi
Urban Distribution International
2018
91 Minutes
Belgium, France, Rwanda
French, Swahili
Action, Drama
Not Rated
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At the outbreak of the Second Congo War, Sergeant Xavier and young private Faustin, are accidentally left behind in the jungle. With only each other to count on, they embark on an odyssey across the most violent forest on earth, facing the depths of their own war-torn souls.

  • Highest Rating
    "Joël Karekezi’s second feature, The Mercy of the Jungle, is a propulsive film that uses the visual and dramatic potential of hermetic environments to create a story that is both broad in scope and direct in vision. The Mercy of the Jungle makes great use of space, with Karekezi animating the surroundings of his characters via lush sound and dense visuals, resulting in an almost total sensorial immersion. Rather than a distanced narrative eye, the director’s balance of interiority and interconnected flows of external, political conflict is refreshing in its commitment to a world-based subjectivity."
    Sarah-Tai Black, Cinema Scope
  • Highest Rating
    "Shots of base camps, jungle clearings and village interiors are imbued with a beautiful light, allowing the performances of Zinga and Bak to flourish as the narrative progresses. It is their characterisation as a duo with contradictory fates, concluding in poignant fashion, that gives the film its lasting impression."
    Nick Mastrini, Cineuropa
  • Highest Rating
    "Led by a pair of spectacular performances, The Mercy of the Jungle is an interesting character study about what you need to do to survive. [T]his is a fascinating, moving, at times thrilling look at war-torn Africa."
    Kevin Wozniak, Chicago Indie Critics
  • Highest Rating
    "As it navigates the blurry borders between countries and conflicts, The Mercy of the Jungle offers an essential perspective that counters other, simplifying narratives of the region’s history. In exploring the ecology of war through the lush borderland jungles of central Africa, Karekezi meaningfully argues that this history is anything but natural."
    Alison MacAulay, African Studies Review

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Awards & Recognition