One day, French director Armel Hostiou discovers that there is another profile in Facebook under his name. He traces the profile to Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As he tries to report the fake to Facebook, they answer that the profile cannot be deleted, as according to the platform, it is the right one.
So, what to do? As a filmmaker, Hostiou decides to pack up his camera and try to find the creator of the fake profile. He has never been to Kinshasa, and in order to get help, he contacts a local community of artists. Still, searching in a melting pot of 18 million people takes its time, until a clever trick helps him find a possible forger. But is he the true or the fake fake?
The Other Profile is a charming journey to an African metropolis, its rhythm and ways of thinking. The director himself narrates the events with his soft voice, and the camera records the Congo way of life. The film’s French title is Le vrai du faux, the truth of the fake, and this captures the essence of Hostiou’s work well.
Wisely, The Other Profile does not remain merely a European journey to the banks of the huge Congo River, and it doesn’t end up in the heart of darkness, in the words of Joseph Conrad’s famous novel. Instead, the film listens to the locals’ own views on being Congolese and on the western world.
Jaana Semeri (translated by Inari Ylinen)