Sammy Baloji
Democratic Republic of the Congo - Belgium - Italy


Il Padre selvaggio is an adaptation of the eponymous work by Pier Paolo Pasolini, a screenplay written in 1962 for an unfinished film. It explores the tribulations of the Congo through the encounter between an idealistic Italian teacher and Davidson, a Congolese student. Adapted in today’s Congo, the story follows Davidson’s trajectory. Both moved by the idealistic precepts of his new teacher and torn between the influence of colonial and traditional family education, Davidson must regain his freedom. Through the use of archive and a display of capitalist extractivism, the film tackles the evils mentioned in Pasolini’s scenario, still present in Congolese society. The thirst for mineral resources, the impact of extraction as well as the fragmentation of social fabrics by ethnic conflicts remain current affairs.

1st feature

Twenty Nine Studio & Production (Belgium)
Rosa Spaliviero


Red House (Italy)
Fabio Scamoni

Director’s statement

In the aftermath of independence, a young Italian teacher arrived in the Congo with the hope of raising awareness among pupils of their situation through progressive teaching methods. Under the influence of colonial teaching, which clashed with ancestral traditions, the students showed little interest. For Davidson ‘Nguibini, it is inconceivable to combine a teacher’s precepts with the weight of his clan’s values, so his unease is more palpable. The script we are developing with author Fiston Mwanza Mujila gives space and volume to ‘Nguibini, the film’s Congolese protagonist. Pasolini’s Il Padre selvaggio evokes several events relating to what has been called the Congolese crisis: the so-called Kindu massacre; the deepening of tribalism after independence; the murder of Patrice Lumumba in 1961. Sixty years after it was written, this scenario seems to have a prophetic quality.


Sammy Baloji
Sammy Baloji

Artist and filmmaker Sammy Baloji has been exploring the memory and history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 2005. His use of archives enables him to manipulate time and space, comparing old colonial narratives with contemporary economic imperialism. His video works, installations and photographic series highlight the way in which identities are shaped, transformed, perverted and reinvented. Il Padre selvaggio is his first feature-length fiction film.

Rosa Spaliviero

A producer since 2011, Rosa Spaliviero is interested in hybrid forms of cinema. In 2017, she founded Twenty Nine Studio & Production, an independent Brussels-based film company, to produce documentaries and artists’ films. Recent productions include Rumba Rules, New Genealogies (2020) by David N. Bernatchez and Sammy Baloji; Up at Night (2019) by Nelson Makengo; and Machini (2019) by Tétshim and Frank Mukunday. In 2021, Spaliviero was a Sundance Documentary Institute grantee and participated in Eurodoc with Makengo’s first feature-length film Tongo Saa (upcoming).

Total budget

€2 000 000

Financing secured

€20 000

Shooting period and locations

June 2025, Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Expected delivery

June 2026

Other Projects in development