© Prokino (FOX)

Ein Dorf Sieht Schwarz (Bienvenue à Marly-Gomont)
France 2016

Opening 20 Apr 2017

Directed by: Julien Rambaldi
Writing credits: Kamini Zantoko
Principal actors: Marc Zinga, Aïssa Maïga

Seyolo Zantoko (Marc Zinga) is a Congolese medical student who receives his diploma in Paris in 1975. In order to procure French citizenship, he decides to get a position as a GP in a country practice north of Paris. He sends for his family and that is where the problems start. Seyolo's wife Anne (Aissa Maiga) comes from a comfortable background and she thinks she is moving to cosmopolitan Paris. She is shocked by the primitiveness of their living quarters and the standoffish townspeople. Said townspeople are also steering clear of Seyolo since they cannot imagine being treated by an African. Seyolo tries hard to integrate  After all, he was totally accepted at medical school in Paris. He starts to frequent the local pub playing darts and drinking. Only one local, Jeannot, stands up for him and gives him a job as farmhand to tide him over financially. So the months pass. When a woman goes into labor on Xmas and no other doctor is available, Seyolo steps in to deliver the baby and finally wins over the town.

Sebolo's two kids (in real life son Kamini Zantoko wrote the screenplay of the film) who have also had a rough time of it in school are then also accepted, when his daughter accidentally on purpose shows off her soccer skills and is counted on to help the school win a championship.

The tribulations of a new immigrant family, although based on a real family story from 1975, are just as relevant as they are today. This film shows how assimilation is possible and how much of it depends on the host country population.  (Thelma Freedman)

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