L’Afrance

Director: Alain Gomis
Country: France / Senegal
Year: 2001
Running Time: 90 min.
Language: French and Wolof

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This winner of the Silver Leopard for Best First Feature at the 2001 Locarno International Film Festival looks at the problems of migration and identity faced by most young Africans in Europe. Set in Paris, the film centers on El Hadj, a young Senegalese student whose legal residency has come to an end. He is torn between his wish to remain in Paris and his desire to return home and serve his country. Juxtaposing images of El Hadj’s sometimes troubled memory of Africa with the harsh realities of young Africans living a penurious existence in downtown Paris, director Alain Gomis shares with us El Hadj’s torment as he teeters on the brink of suicide. Making the most of his talented young cast, particularly Djolof Mbengue in the lead role, Alain Gomis has fashioned a film from the heart.

About the Director

Alain Gomis

Alain_GomisBiography: Alain Gomis, born in France, is of Senegalese origin and studied cinematography at the Sorbonne. After graduating he organized and facilitated video production workshops for immigrant youth in Nanterre. By the age of twenty-six, he had already made three short films: Tourbillons, Tout le monde peut se tromper, and the documentary Caramels et chocolats. In 2001, Gomis directed his first feature film, L’Afrance. Gomis’ latest film, Tey, was awarded the Etalon de Yenenga at FESPACO in 2012. His films often fall under the subject of young immigrants from Sub-Saharan Africa.

(Sources:
– AFF, Inc.
Through African Eyes – Dialogues with the Directors, BONETTI Mahen and REDDY Prerana (Editors), 2003, African Film Festival, Inc. and Printinfo JV LLC, Yerevan, Armenia, p.102)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Tourbillons [Whirlwinds] (2001);
L’Afrance (2002);
Petite lumière (2004);
Tey [Aujourd’hui] (2013).

Filmography:
Caramels et chocolats (1996);
Tout le monde peut se tromper (1998);
Tourbillons [Whirlwinds] (1999);
L’Afrance (2001);
Petite lumière (2003);
Ahmed (2006);
Andalucia (2007);
Tey [Aujourd’hui] (2012);
Les Délices du Monde (2012).