If you want a film with a difference watch Mazungu. It is an amazing adventure film about a five-month solo attempt to make the first descent of the 2,922-mile-long mighty Congo River in a Canadian canoe.

My view of Phil Harwood changed through the film from a ‘raving madman’ (his words not mine), to an unbelievably brave explorer who risks death in all manner of unpleasant ways.

The Congo in Central Africa is the eighth longest river in the world with a flow rate second only to the Amazon. Due to generations of political instability, foreign exploitation, corruption and civil war, not to mention the crocodiles, hippos and huge whitewater rapids, the Congo River had never been paddled before from the true source in Zambia to the Atlantic Ocean. The filmmaker faced thick swamp, huge rapids and crocodiles; was chased, bullied and threatened; and was stricken with malaria. With footage of previously unexplored and unseen areas of the upper Congo River, it gives a unique insight into this fascinating and rarely visited area.

The 48 minute film made in 2010 won ‘Best Feature’ at the Llanberis Mountain Film, was runner up at the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival and has also gone on tour around the United States and Canada with the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival and the Reel Paddling Festival.


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