14 March 2017

Cameroon: "Félicité" - When a Woman Is Determined

The Senegalese feature by Alain Gomis, was crowned best film at the 2017 edition of FESPACO.

Félicité! This is the title of a French film produced earlier this year by Senegalese director, Alain Gomis. The feature tells the difficult life of a Congolese woman called Félicité a bar singer, who must do whatever it takes to save her teenage son. Véro Tshanda Beya Mputu who stars as Félicité is a free, proud and passionate evening singer in a Kinshasa bar. Her routine life, which already seems stressful to her, becomes more stressful when her 14-year-old son is a victim in a motorcycle accident. To save his leg from being amputated, she embarks on a frantic race through the busy streets of Kinshasa, a world of music and dreams. In the course, her paths cross those of Papi Mpaka who appears as Tabu in the movie. For over two hours, viewers see how a determined and courageous woman went through a very rough path, at some point sustaining injuries just to raise money to ensure that her son's leg is not amputated. Unfortunately, when Félicité obtains the required sum of money needed to treat her son, the doctor informs her about the amputation of her son's leg which was unavoidable because the leg was already getting decompose. Throughout the film, viewers watch how Félicité struggles to live the life she had gotten into and that she would have loved to live. Alain Gomis says he is out to speak of courageous women, who do not accept the compromise of life and do not bend under its blows. The producer says the story of Félicité's life is linked to that of her son which at one point was suspected of obscure practices. In Félicité, Alain Gomis looked at everyday life and those invisible desires of our everyday life. The Senegalese director, who has just won the Silver Bear in Berlin, won his second Golden Etalon in the capital of Burkina Faso.


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