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July 11th, 2011
Democracy in the Rough

About the Film

WIDE ANGLE is on the ground as the Democratic Republic of Congo holds its first elections in 45 years — an election supported by more than $450 million from the United Nations. The stakes are high in Congo, a nation rich in timber, diamonds, and coltan — a substance essential for small electronics from cell phones to laptops to Play Stations — but the country is reeling from decades of dictatorship and a civil war that left more than four million dead. We follow a former school principal running for parliament who sees her Christian faith as the means for improving living conditions in a country where the per capita income is $100 per year. And we explore what the election means to ordinary Congolese like Jean “McCoy” Kajanda, a would-be accountant who instead spends his days knee-deep in a muddy river bed, sifting the soil for diamonds, earning less than a dollar a day — not always enough for his wife, Sophie, to feed their three young children. Through a diversity of voices in a country rarely seen on U.S. television, “Democracy in the Rough” immerses us in a nation haunted by war, threatened by corruption, and torn over how to move toward a democratic and more promising future.

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