Up the River Congo, 1912

531-CongoClick the picture, film starts after 25 sec.

Viaggio in Congo
K: Guido Piacenza. It 1912

Guido Piacenza, as his brother Mario, was a clever entrepreneur, driven, both by the business sense and by a strong adventure spirit. In 1912 he organized an expedition to Belgian Congo, considering to arrive to Matadi and reach Uganda going up the river Congo. With him there was his friend Neri, expert in the sleeping sickness. During the trip, Guido Piacenza brought the movie camera and some negative film stock with himself, in order to document some of the most characteristic aspects of that country. At a first research, the images shot by Piacenza seem to be the most antique scenes of that area. Some important stopovers were documented by Piacenza himself, who also left, as a testimony of the entire expedition, a manuscript diary, that is now conserved at the Fondazione Famiglia Piacenza di Pollone.
At that time the film wasn’t edited, but it was safeguarded by the family who then entrusted to Museo Nazionale del Cinema. The information contained in the diary have permitted to determine a chronologic order to the editing. The manuscript has also been the source of the intertitles inserted in the film, edited with the contribution of the Laboratorio di Antropologia Visiva del Dipartimento Culture, Politiche e Società dell’Università di Torino.”
Museo Nazionale del Cinema

Viaggio in Congo 
Restored version (with musical composition and recited text):

“The restored version of Journey to Congo was accompanied in 2016 with ‘KNG’: musical composition by Emiliano Minervino; performed by Arianna Di Martino (cello) and E. Minervino (vibraphone, guitar, piano, drums and percussion); texts taken from Guido Piacenza’s travel diary (kept at the Fondazione Piacenza in Pollone) recited by Riccardo Niceforo; the selection of the texts was made by the Museo Nazionale del Cinema and by the Fondazione Piacenza.”

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