Winner of the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the Berlinale, this is a surprising, music-infused drama about a proud and spirited woman working as a singer in Kinshasa.
Alain Gomis last appeared in the SFF Official Competition with his film Today (SFF 2012), a magical realist look at a man's last day on earth. In his vibrant new film, the eponymous Félicité (a wonderful performance by Véro Tshanda Beya) sings at a dingy bar but has a voice and a spirit that transcends the setting. When her son is injured in an accident, Félicité faces a race against the clock, trying to raise enough money to save him. It's here that the film takes a surprising turn and explores Félicité's burgeoning romance with Tabu, a frequent drinker at the bar where she sings. A vivid portrait of the Congolese capital is created through beautiful music, ranging from traditional to African rock to a Kinshasa symphonic orchestra playing Arvo Pärt. It's a tough, chaotic city, but one with strong, resilient people like Félicité. Confounding expectations of African cinema, Gomis has made a film filled with music, magic and hope.
Festival guest: Alain Gomis
ALAIN GOMIS is a Franco-Bissau Guinean-Senegalese director. His first feature film, L'Afrance (2001, SFF 2002), won the Silver Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. Tey (2012), starring Saul Williams, was selected for competition at Berlin and won the Golden Stallion at FESPACO in 2013. Gomis also works on a training program for young filmmakers and technicians in Senegal. Félicité is his fourth feature-length film.
France, Belgium, Senegal, Germany, Lebanon
Lingala and French with English subtitles
Alain Gomis, Olivier Loustau, Delphine Zingg
Arnaud Dommerc, Oumar Sall, Alain Gomis
Fabrice Rouaud, Alain Gomis
Véro Tshanda Beya, Gaetan Claudia, Papi Mpaka
Official Competition, Africa, Music, Women, Festival Award Winners, Features
World Sales: Jour2Fête