By Nada Afa
Fez – As part of its ‘Salon du Cinéma’ cultural program, the French Institute of Fez will screen Alain Gomis’s critically acclaimed movie Félicité for free, this Friday in Dar Batha at 10 p.m.
Every city has a story to tell, and this Friday, those living in Fez will discover Kinshasa’s through Alain Gomis’s latest movie. Félicité tells the story of a proud emancipated woman and single mother who works as a late night singer in a bar in Kinshasa.
Her life takes an unexpected turn when her teenage son is severely injured in a motorcycle accident. In order to save him, she must come up with £500 to pay for his surgery. She embarks on a frantic race against time through the streets of Kinshasa, where she meets Tabu, a car mechanic who will support her through this journey.
The strong central female character Félicité was inspired by a brave women Alain Gomis looked up to and admired growing up. Félicité was played by Véronique Tshanda Beya Mputu, who auditioned four times for the role, because Gomis was not sure if an inexperienced actress could portray such a complex character.
Félicité won a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and the Golden Stallion for best film at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. It was also nominated for the Amnesty International prize, and the Alfred-Bauer prize, among others.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Gomis said that he likes resonances. He explained, “My perception of space is sensorial like the sound of a drop of water falling in a cave. For me that is stronger than a uniquely visual perception of space.” All of his movies shed light on today’s social problems and are centered on strong-willed characters doing their best to beat the odds.
He told the Financial Times, “I myself am of mixed race, which is a curious state to be in because you don’t look like your mother or your father’s family,” he says. “You feel like an immigrant wherever you are, so I think that’s also had a lot to do with the kind of subjects that have interested me.”