When the Pan-African activist Mwazulu Diyabanza walks into the Afrika Museum in the Dutch village of Berg en Dal and leaves with an exhibition object under his arm, the police arrest him for theft. But according to Diyabanza, he is merely retrieving what was stolen from Congo during colonial rule and returning it to where it came from.
With striking design enriched by archive material, this documentary explores various aspects of the colonial looting of art. The film centers on the history of Ne Kuko, a chieftain in Boma, now in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who fell prey to a Belgian adventurer on a trading expedition around 1878.
The narrator calmly explains how land was stolen from Ne Kuko, as well as his nkisi. The theft of this object, which is believed to have spiritual powers, not only meant a loss of identity for Ne Kuko, but also disrupted the local community. A century and a half on, the nkisi is still waiting to be returned to Boma.