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301 Ratings


Directed by Alain Gomis
France, Belgium, 2017


Félicité, free and proud, is a singer in the evenings in a bar in Kinshasa. Her life changes when her 14-year-old son is the victim of a motorcycle accident. To save him, she begins a frantic race through the streets of an electric Kinshasa, a world of music and dreams.

Our take

A female screen presence like Félicité was long overdue! A strong-willed yet vulnerable, voluptuous yet motherly, playful yet vehement woman is the indelible titular character in Gomis’ Silver Bear winner. A film of raw, exuberant sensuality, entrancing music and both surreal and neorealist beauty.

Félicité Directed by Alain Gomis
Alain Gomis’ FÉLICITÉ, an immersive, celebratory work of magical realism, won the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival; it’s also the first ever submission by Senegal for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. It can be a harrowing film, but it’s also a joyous and vibrant one.
December 15, 2017
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Expressive, almost dreamlike dissolves figure in a particularly fraught homecoming scene. There are shots of an orchestra and a choir in Kinshasa rehearsing, and eventually performing, works by Arvo Pärt. There are scenes in which Félicité wanders a night forest alone. None of these tendrils feel affected, though. And Mr. Gomis has a sharp ear for the alarming way in which romantic transactions are negotiated between men and women in this milieu.
October 26, 2017
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The movie is, in part, a musical, featuring exhilarating performances by Beya and her band in night-club scenes roiled with dance, alcohol, and eros, and perched on the edge of violence—but it’s all the more an incisive work of sociopolitical analysis, focussed on the health-care system of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As a result, it’s a painfully timely film for American viewers.
September 30, 2017
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