Claude Haffner


Development support


From her family home in, Alsace, Claude Haffner embarks on a quest for her African identity. Born in 1976 to a French father and a Congolese mother in Zaïre, she grew up in Alsace with her brother, and never returned to her country of birth.

Long Synopsis

After her father’s passing in 2000 Claude decided to return to Congo with her mother to reconnect with her family, hoping to fill the void left by her father. She returns home concerned about the future of her family and country after finding Kasaï, the region where her family lives, plundered for its diamond riches.

This is the starting point of Claude’s investigation in search of her Congolese identity. She explores the family history with her mother, and with her brother Frédéric she delves into the intellectual and psychological inheritance left by her father, a specialist on African cinema. She returns, alone this time, to Mbuji-Mayi, Kasaï’s capital and the centre of the diamond trade, to discover a town where the poorest live right next to those who made a fortune from the diamond trade.

This visible dichotomy between those who benefit from the diamond trade and those who do not, is a potent reflection of one of the contradictions of being of mixed heritage. While one cousin claims she is white, another one embraces her as one of them. Convinced that the solutions for Kasaï’s problems cannot be found elsewhere, Claude realizes that the same is true for her own search of a complete self.