Félicité, the music of the ‘strong women’ from Kinsasa


  • Congolese actress Véronique Tshanda Beya plays a singer in search of self-improvement and dreams. This film, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the last Berlin Festival, and directed by the French-Senegalese Alain Gomis, competes in the official section of the Film Festival.


Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Félicité’s story (France, Germany, Belgium, Lebanon, Senegal, 2017, 123 min.), competing in the Official Section of the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival, is a reflection of the life of “the women from Kinsasa, strong, brave, independent women that have to get by on their own everyday”.

The Congolese actress Véronique Tshanda Beya, who is in town thanks to Casa Africa’s collaboration, talked about self-improvement and dreams after the first screening of the film in which she plays a singer who works at a café of the African capital and who is forced to undertake a frantic race because of her son’s health.

The film, the fourth feature film by French-Senegalese filmmaker Alain Gomis, won the 2017 Berlin Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, and is expected to be released in the Congo before the end of the year.

The press conference was attended by the Culture councilwoman of the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria City Council, Encarna Galván, and by the general manager of Casa Africa, Arianne Hernández. A meeting that proves the line of collaboration between both institutions.

This has been for the Congolese actress her first incursion in cinema. “I had to do the casting seven times. Now I know I’m not a sales woman, my previous job, but an actress”. The role she plays carries a considerable amount of the film’s weight, as it happens with the lyrics of the songs that, she pointed out, “it’s a shame they are not translated, people must understand them because their message is too strong”. “Music is another character”, she explained.

The songs show Félicité’s contradictions, a faithful reflection of the rest of women in the Congo, “women who are strong because they never stop fighting”, said Véronique Tshanda. Félicité shows their strength, their pain, their despondency, their loss of confidence and their optimism through their lyrics. “She asks for help singing, says she doesn’t want to live singing and finally changes her own feelings and sing that life is worth”, she explained.

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