Alain Gomis Senegal-France 2017 | 124 minutes
Our opening film Félicité is a masterpiece by Alain Gomis, an original voice in cinema. He is returning to AFFO after the screening of Tey in 2016. This narrative of the journey of a single mother (played by newcomer and absolute revelation Véro Tschanda Beya Mputu) across Kinshasa, one of Africa’s most dynamic yet infrastructurally-challenged city, in an effort to find resources for her son’s leg operation is a mix of documentary realism, naturalism and surrealism, featuring the legendary Kasai All-Star Band and the Kinshasa Symphony Orchestra. A narrative of resilience, resistance and emergence if makeshift love in a context of extreme scarcity, this city symphony marks the increasing triumph of the Djibirl Diop Mambety school in African cinema. Félicité won the Golden Stallion at FESPACO (Africa’s most important film festival), the Berlinale’s Silver Bear and was Senegal’s Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film.