Near the opening of this film, which is set in present-day Kinshasa, a camera glides toward a white car that’s parked next to a fuel dispenser. The camera smoothly turns to the left and closes in on an open petrol tank door. We enter the hole. The tank is empty and black. This is the new (neoliberal) heart of darkness. The city is suffering from a serious fuel shortage. The city also has frequent blackouts. People will be dancing to the latest hi-tech kwassa kwassa when suddenly the whole system crashes, the flow of energy stops, the digital beats die. This is the city that Riva (Patsha Bay Mukuna), a young criminal, enters with 30 or so barrels of fuel he has stolen from Angolan gangsters. The Angolans (one of whom, the boss, Hoji Fortuna, steals the show) are ruthless, dandified, and disgusted by Zairean poverty and chaos. (Angola is one of the economic rising stars of black Africa.) Riva has lots of courage but no brains. As soon as he makes money, he is out on the town living as large as possible. It is easy for the Angolans to find him; it is easy to see how this bold, bright, erotic, beautiful, and brutal film will end. The Ethopian hiphop track “Biraa Biro” took Bole to Harlem; Viva Riva! takes Kinshasa to Hollywood. recommended