Bienvenue à Marly-Gomont (The African Doctor) – **(*)

Posted: November 10, 2016 in 2016, Belgium, Comedy, Drama, Dramedy, France, XX1/2

There’s something really charming about the story of Seyolo Zantoko, who decided to become the general practitioner of a rural town in northern France back in the late seventies. Graduated from the university of Lille, he didn’t care about returning to his troublesome home country Zaire and preferred to stay in France. However, being the only black person (and having the only black family) in a very conservative community wasn’t all that easy. Until of course, times change and people become more accepting.

The story is pretty straightforward, predicable and simple. But it’s a great tale.

A few years ago, rapper Kamini Zantoko scored a hit with a silly rap song about growing up as the only black guy in a small rural village. (see below) Someone asked him to write a script about his youth, which he did and with some help of others it has now turned into an entertaining movie with some drama and a lot of humor. It’s an homage to his father, who decided to take the risk (and the opportunity) to integrate in unknown territory for blacks.

It’s a great example of the many French dramedies that mix the multicultural society with la France provonde. Maybe it’s something Hollywood should start focus on. Try and see it with subtitles because the accents are quite difficult to understand (the African accent sounds perfect compared to the rural accent of the other characters).

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