Enjoy Poverty (image 1)

This is a tough film in every way and truly political filmmaking of the highest order – fearless, divisive, controversial, and necessary.

Sean Farnel, Hot Docs

Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

Enjoy Poverty 2008

Episode III – Enjoy Poverty

Directed by Renzo Martens

Enjoy Poverty investigates the trade-offs surrounding what director Renzo Martens, describes as “Africa’s most lucrative export: filmed poverty”. “Fearless, divisive, controversial, and necessary.” — Hot Docs

The Netherlands In Dutch, French, Lingala and Swahili with English subtitles
90 minutes Colour and B&W / DigiBeta

Director, Screenplay, Photography

Producers

Peter Krüger
,
Renzo Martens

Editor

Jan De Coster

Sound

Raf Enckels
,
Frederik van de Moortel

With

Renzo Martens

Festivals

Amsterdam Documentary 2008

Elsewhere

Call it a kamikaze attack on the Society of the Spectacle. As purposefully offensive as its title promises, Enjoy Poverty investigates the trade-offs surrounding what its perpetrator, artist Renzo Martens, describes as ‘Africa's most lucrative export: filmed poverty’. He spent three years in the Democratic Republic of the Congo talking with poor labourers, plantation owners, aid workers and foreign journalists. He riles some and baffles others in testing his thesis that poverty is a national asset because it attracts foreign aid. Such NGOs as Médecins sans Frontières stage-manage the imagery for Western eyes, he suggests, and are complicit in creating a cover for exploitation by Western corporations which in turn offer them and the media military protection. In his most excruciating intervention he encourages impoverished village people to try selling photographs of their own suffering to Western media. Martens has the incisiveness to not portray himself as akin to a poor African, and throws his own artist's vanity into the bonfire too. — BG