Director: Alain Gomis
Cast: Vero Tshanda Mputu, Gactan Claudia, Papi Mpaka
Language: Lingala, French with English subtitles
Country of Origin: France-Sewnegal-Belgium-Germany-Lebanon 2017 123 mins. (12A)
Winner of the Silver Bear Jury Grand Prix at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival
Released by MUBI
Nightclub singer Felicite (Vero Tshanda Beya Mputu) backed by the Kasai Allstars bangs out the 'Congotonic' sound to adoring fans in a seedy Kinshasa bar. When her 14-year-old son Some's (Gaetan Claudia) is involved in an accident, she needs to raise cash for his operation but generosity on Kinshasa's lawless streets isn't easy. Only bar regular Tabu (Papi Mpaki) who's sweet on Felicite offers help but does she want that. Celine Bozon's hand held camera follows Felicite and an array of characters with a slice of Kinshasa life referencing the Congolese spirit world and even popping in the Kinshasa Symphonic Orchestra with pieces by Avro Part. Challenging and overlong, the documentary style, loose narrative and improvisation irritates but it's an energetic reflection of new African cinema.