Ben Affleck Wants to Make a Movie About the Conflict in Eastern Congo

by     Posted 3 years, 317 days ago

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Ben Affleck’s Bono-esque philanthropic ambitions may be advancing, but he is having trouble raising interest from the big platform that is Hollywood. In a recent interview, the Oscar-winning writer, actor and director deplored Hollywood’s lack of interest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“I would love to make a movie about Congo, but unfortunately I’ve asked Hollywood folks and they always say nobody wants to see a movie about Africa. I think that points to this general sense that people sort of tune out, that it doesn’t matter. It’s also a function of trends and conventional wisdom: if it comes down to a movie with fighting robots or a movie on what’s happening in eastern Congo, you’re not going to win.”


Using his celebrity to raise awareness for global crises, he founded the Eastern Congo Initiative earlier this year, in March. The organization’s aim is to encourage economic and social development in the troubled eastern region of the country. Find out more about his efforts and watch his video about the Congo after the jump.

ben_affleck_sundance_2010_imageAffleck is devoted to his cause and has already made several visits to the Congo. Moreover, he is urging the US government to double its efforts and provide the necessary aid to bring stability to the region. Rape and violent crimes are prevalent in eastern Congo.

But if he were to make a feature film, it would definitely not be a documentary. Perhaps Affleck, who won a screenwriting Oscar for Good Will Hunting and most recently wrote and directed The Town, knows his strengths as a storyteller, telling the AFP:

“There have been a lot of documentaries already, and fiction is more gripping. You can tell one person’s story and really control the extent to which the history and the politics are layered in, but you keep that central through-line of a protagonist that you’re really rooting for.”


Affleck elaborates on the trouble with the commercial prospects of a film set in Africa:

“But the other problem with movies about Africa is that there are no African movie stars in the United States. So the lead has to be someone who’s American, and you have to figure out how to get an American person wedged into a story about Africa… [Leonardo DiCaprio] did it really well in Blood Diamonds, so it’s not impossible.”


Charlize Theron, who is South African, has already expressed interest. More A-listers may follow suit methinks if — or when — the project becomes more concrete.

Affleck has already made two brief films about Congo, including a 23-minute collaboration with Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, Gimme Shelter, shot in the Nord-Kivu region.

He also recently posted a five-minute video about DRC on YouTube, featuring the U2 song “Bad”.

In the meantime, he is keeping busy with his day job: Affleck was most recently spotted on the set of the yet-untitled Terrence Malick film. He will next be seen in The Company Men, which opens December 10th.




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  • John

    If Ben is directing, I’m in.

  • Dudeyhasmehigh

    Asking Hollywood’s opinion makes it sound like he isn’t too serious about it.

  • Dudeyhasmehigh

    Asking Hollywood’s opinion makes it sound like he isn’t too serious about it.

  • InfiniteMonkey

    Its only a matter of time before he will get his shot. Then he’s going to win a bloody Oscar for it.International actors are more so in touch with how Africa has been for decades. Ben Affleck will find his actors soon enough. No worries.:)

  • Deanne

    It’s hard to make a movie without Hollywood supporting you financially, that’s what he meant by it not because he sounded reluctant. If people care about what goes on internationally and less on fantasies like Harry Potter then cinemas can effectively reach people and teach us something about humanity.

    • Excpired

      What do you mean Deanne? Harry Potter is a great documentary on wizarding life in England. It is the best true story I’ve ever seen on film, gosh.

    • Gus Chiggins

      I’d feel more comfortable with your post if you would have referenced either the Twilight or the Transformers movies. At least give the Harry Potter series some props for producing some decent films.

    • Gus Chiggins

      I’d feel more comfortable with your post if you would have referenced either the Twilight or the Transformers movies. At least give the Harry Potter series some props for producing some decent films.

  • Anonymous

    Nice diss at TRANSFORMERS. Affleck I already love you dude, but keep it coming.

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  • Jim

    “Ben Affleck Wants to Make a Movie”…I couldn’t stop laughing at that point. Hilarious.

  • Jim

    “Ben Affleck Wants to Make a Movie”…I couldn’t stop laughing at that point. Hilarious.

  • Joe

    If you are interested in visiting Africa on a Volunteer program, for heaven’s sake do not go any where near “Dr” Peter Mc Hendry or Global Adventures, Christian ski or any other companies run by “Dr” Peter McHendry – have a look at what he did to this poor chap!

    http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=1987623

    Peter McHendry is a fraudster who has been deported from Zambia for breeching labour laws (not paying his poor village staff) and failing to register any sort of business interest in Zambia, he does not legally own any land there, only the President of Zambia can grant a lease in Zambia, most of his deceptions are based on owning things he quite clearly cannot and does not!

    The Police in South Africa are looking for McHendry in regards to Insurance Fraud and conning investors into his failed Global Bio Diesel and Akula Trading 227 PTY Companies.
    This man is very dangerous and is believed to have several personality disorders, such as Jerusalem syndrome, his wife and other girls have complained of violent behaviour and at nearly 60 “Dr” Peter McHendry has an unhealthy interest in young vulnerable women and strippers as the Lonely Planet article shows.

    http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=1987623

    The Lonely Planet confirms that “Dr” Peter McHendry had not paid his staff for at least two months when the volunteers’ had paid over $2500 US each to live in a tent with no food!

    BEWARE PETER MC HENDRY IS A FRAUDSTER IN LEAUGE WITH SATAN!
    He steals from poor African Villagers this is why a deportation order was issued by the Zambian government and why the South African Police are looking for him!

    response@saps.org.za

    Do not give him any money it will not go on any sort of good, it will all be spent on young girls that “Dr” McHendry has no chance of sleeping with, you can see lots of them on his website which makes many, many, false claims all of which are badly spelt!

    http://www.petermchendryisafraudster.blogspot.com

  • Joe

    If you are interested in visiting Africa on a Volunteer program, for heaven’s sake do not go any where near “Dr” Peter Mc Hendry or Global Adventures, Christian ski or any other companies run by “Dr” Peter McHendry – have a look at what he did to this poor chap!

    http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=1987623

    Peter McHendry is a fraudster who has been deported from Zambia for breeching labour laws (not paying his poor village staff) and failing to register any sort of business interest in Zambia, he does not legally own any land there, only the President of Zambia can grant a lease in Zambia, most of his deceptions are based on owning things he quite clearly cannot and does not!

    The Police in South Africa are looking for McHendry in regards to Insurance Fraud and conning investors into his failed Global Bio Diesel and Akula Trading 227 PTY Companies.
    This man is very dangerous and is believed to have several personality disorders, such as Jerusalem syndrome, his wife and other girls have complained of violent behaviour and at nearly 60 “Dr” Peter McHendry has an unhealthy interest in young vulnerable women and strippers as the Lonely Planet article shows.

    http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=1987623

    The Lonely Planet confirms that “Dr” Peter McHendry had not paid his staff for at least two months when the volunteers’ had paid over $2500 US each to live in a tent with no food!

    BEWARE PETER MC HENDRY IS A FRAUDSTER IN LEAUGE WITH SATAN!
    He steals from poor African Villagers this is why a deportation order was issued by the Zambian government and why the South African Police are looking for him!

    response@saps.org.za

    Do not give him any money it will not go on any sort of good, it will all be spent on young girls that “Dr” McHendry has no chance of sleeping with, you can see lots of them on his website which makes many, many, false claims all of which are badly spelt!

    http://www.petermchendryisafraudster.blogspot.com

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