Powerful, moving, and eye-opening. Excellent performances by all of the cast, but the lead is amazing. Also agree with other reviewers that the intercut elements with the orchestra/choir and the night sequences add a dream-like quality. When life is a struggle, it is human to create and interact with our own reality as well as the world 'outside'. Perhaps this is what I got most from this film. Watch it! :)
Singer who would not be anybody's fool. Then tragedy hits,marking impassivity on son and mother. The man keeps trying,helps with ailing fridge. He is there as the solid dependable backstop while the pair dwell in inconsolable trauma. Kinshasa Orchestra play.. When she finally comes round,her romeo inexplicably exits arm in arm with bar woman. They still make a plan- she mustn't come daily, nor he ask aught of her. Oh
Wow this film is so moving. Desperate lives, underplayed emotions and through Felicite's unnerving and penetrating gaze the township side of poor Black Africa is revealed. 'You will be brave because you have no other choice'. And yet, and yet...like every life, no matter how awful to those outside it, there are moments of sublime beauty, and grief is leavened by human connection and a kind of loving.
A film that ironically works well through its not-so-prominent life-affirming features but one that flounders when pushed to the limit through raw pain and despair. There is no lesson in the latter but a sweet tale in the former and Gomis can be criticised for delivering a seemingly gratuituous feast on pain that serves no purpose. Hypnotizing musics and powerful performances help to keep you bleeding inside.
A great opportunity to look a bit closer into what life in Congo can mean and look like. Dramatic effects are easily achieved by the smallest, most mundane gestures and through Vero's ( Felicite) impeccable performance and rendition of a breath-taking singer, a single mother, whose heroic strength is the only thing that can save her son. The soundtrack mixes amazing African sounds, religious/classical music & rock.
A combination of the mundane, the streets of Kinshasa with daily routines, and strange night time dreamy goings on. Contrasting music, with the Kasai Allstars grooving on down, and orchestral and choral interludes. All this as the backdrop for the mother-son relationship fuelling Felicite's endeavours, increasingly desperate. Excellent portrayal of complex relationships. A satisfactory resolution, on her terms.
A magnificent film. For once we see a raw, tough, achingly beautiful, stubbornly tenacious portrait of Africa without prior filtering through Romanticised ideas of story and character. Gomis makes telling use of facial close ups to let the characters speak for themselves, through glance and gesture and expression. Powerful, raw, uncompromising and difficult. For me, the best and most urgent new film of 2017.
One of the most powerful films I have ever seen, with a truly touching mother-son relationship and a magnificent built up of a love affair between the main characters. With captivating performances, an incredibly beautiful soundtrack and an ability to leave you feeling you've just spent a couple of years in central Africa! A true gem!
It is mesmerizingly beautiful, breathtakingly painful, and deliberately dreamy. Stylistically enough, those fantasy interludes with classical ensemble brings such a ingenious insight of the singer/title character meanwhile her gloomy night-crawling dreams adds depth to her failures as her backstory enfolds.
The music inserts with the Kinshasa Symphony and Choir create a totally different and strange area of experience because the music of Arvo Pärt (the orchestra playing "Fratres") appears like an alien object related to the plot. But that's - like the atmospheric night sequences - a reason for the fascination of the film … although its cultural codes are sometimes difficult to decipher.