The African Doctor (Bienvenue à Marly-Gomont)
While America has been going through a period which can only be described as astonishing these past couple of weeks, FrenchFlicks has discovered a small nugget of humanity in cinema... on Netflix!
It's true- there is something uplifting out there, and it is called The African Doctor, (Bienvenue à Marly-Gomont, 2016) directed by Julien Rambaldi. It follows the true story of Seyolo Zantoko, a doctor who uproots his family from what is now Congo to start his medical practice in Marly-Gomont, a northern French village that hosts more activities for the cows than for its human residents.
In The African Doctor, we feel the cold and rainy isolation, we truly go through the experience of homesickness and the sense that all eyes are on you because you don't belong. But then, something magical happens. The likability of these characters is instant and overpowering.
The script is co-written by musician Kamini (a 2006 French youtube sensation with his rural rap), Zantoko's own son, and therefore gives the tone of the film a child-like and light hearted perspective throughout. Speaking of the cast and characters, Aïssa Maïga as Zantoko's wife was an absolute joy to watch, as she takes the move the hardest and is the voice of the family's hardship, all while simultaneously having immaculate comedic timing and facial expressions.
Moving to France from Senegal at the age of four, you can't help but imagine she brought some of her experience from life to the screen. Adding spice and flavor to the film is the Congolese culture clash between that of rural France, showcasing an incredibly truthful and charming dynamic on screen.
Watch if you liked: Les Choristes, and any heart-warming family movie.