Variety | ‘Makala’ Review


Simplicity is the key to the somber beauty of “Makala,” a documentary depicting a Congolese charcoal-maker doing his utmost to raise his family under penurious conditions. French helmer-lenser Emmanuel Gras’ camera embraces the subject’s every move with such rapt intimacy and cinematic poetry it’s easy to forget this is not a fictional drama. Reportedly the first documentary selected by Cannes’ Critics Week sidebar, the film snatched the Grand Prize, which should open doors to a few select theaters, on top of its long fest legs.

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