Félicité is a nightclub singer in a little bar in Kinshasa who lives alonewith her teenage son  Samo. When Samo severely injures himself in a motorcycle accident, Félicité must find a way to raise the money to pay for an operation or allow her son’s leg to be amputated. The originality and power of French-Senegalese director Alain Gomis’s fourth feature lies in the way it transcends this simple against-the-clock narrative,the kind of story that has driven films of social realism from Bicycle Thieves to the Dardenne brothers, to create a shifting, complex portraitof the struggles, joys, and imagination of a modern-day heroine—and
by extension, of the city she lives in. Filming in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country previously unfamiliar to him, Gomis confirms the tremendous promise of his earlier films, walking a porous line between dream and waking life, magic and bureaucracy, observation and fantasy, that at its best suggests a new cinematic language. Alive with the diverse sounds of various Kinshasa musicians, Félicité is an
engrossing, deep dive into the days and, especially, nights of a city by turns nightmarish and surprisingly radiant.

Alain Gomis

Alain Gomis

Véro Tshanda Beya Mputu
Gaetan Claudia
Papi Mpaka

Lingala, French
129 min.
France, Belgium, Senegal,
Germany, Lebanon, 2017
DCP, Blu-Ray, DVD, ProRes

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