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France, Belgium, Senegal · 2017
2h 3m
Director Alain Gomis
Starring Véro Tshanda Beya Mputu, Gaetan Claudia, Papi Mpaka, Nadine Ndebo
Genre Music, Drama

Félicité, a strong and proud Congolese woman, sings at a local bar. One fateful day, she discovers that she desperately needs money after her 14-year-old Samo suffers a serious accident. Unlucky but not discouraged, Félicité goes on a personal journey in search of any means to help her son out.

Stream Félicité

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What are critics saying?


Village Voice by Alan Scherstuhl

Gomis’s handheld cameras work to keep up with the actors, who seem to move with rare freedom, but he also stages some exquisite and complex flourishes.


The Film Stage by Ed Frankl

This is a formally complex work, too long perhaps and occasionally opaque in its meaning, but a daring ride to those wanting to glimpse the best of African cinema.


Variety by Guy Lodge

Gomis’ latest is far from the miserablist issue drama that synopsis portends, instead weaving a sensual, sometimes hopeful, sometimes disturbing urban tapestry with threads of image, sound, poetry, and song.


The Hollywood Reporter by Jordan Mintzer

It’s intense if somewhat choppy filmmaking, although the passion of the amateur cast and vividness of the Kinshasa locations help make up for the narrative shortcomings.


Screen International by Lee Marshall

Undemonstrative but at the same time oddly compelling - rather like its eponymous main character - Felicité is a challenging, perhaps overlong, but also quietly resonant slice of new African cinema.


The A.V. Club by Mike D'Angelo

The film’s tonal range is formidable enough to suggest that this director may be a major talent who’s now emerging from relative obscurity, thanks to the Berlin prize and subsequent attention at festivals in Toronto and New York. It’s always exciting to discover someone who’s eager to toss the manuals aside.


CineVue by Patrick Gamble

Félicité is an emotionally effective heart-tugger, thanks largely to Véro Tshanda Beya's dignified lead performance.


The New Yorker by Richard Brody

The movie is a virtual documentary of city sights and moods, and also a bitter exposé of a country without a social safety net.

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