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Dir. Alain Gomis
South Africa. 2016. 123 mins. Lingala with English subtitles.
Félicité makes her living by singing in a popular Kinshasa bar, where audiences are quickly infected by her powerful, melancholic melodies. When her son suffers a sudden accident, Félicité embarks on a breathless tour through the Congolese capital as she tries desperately to raise the money for an urgent operation. Lady’s man and bar regular, Tabu, offers to help and she reluctantly accepts, despite knowing that his actions are unlikely to be entirely benevolent. The music is the beating heart of Gomis’ award-winning and compelling drama, while the remarkable central performance from Véro Tshanda Beya Mputu poignantly captures the realities of what it is to be a woman habitually harassed by men.
Eligible for the Film Africa 2017 Audience Award
Alain Gomis is a Franco-Bissau Guinean-Senegalese director. He was born in 1972 in France, where he grew up.His first two short films, Tourbillons followed by Petite lumière, were selected and received awards at several international festivals. In 2001, his first feature-length film, L’Afrance, won the Silver Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. Then came Andalucia in 2007 starring Samir Guesmi, then Tey starring Saul Williams, which was selected for competition at Berlin and won the Golden Stallion at Fespaco in 2013. A partner at Granit Films along with Newton Aduaka (Nigerian director, Ezra) and Valérie Osouf (French director), Alain Gomis also works with producer Oumar Sall (Cinékap) on a training program for young filmmakers and technicians in Senegal (Up Court-métra-ges).Félicité is his 4th feature-length film.