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.