Film Series

French Film Festival

Mondays, February 17, 24 + March 2 at 7pm

French Film Festival 2020 / Against the Odds: Strength and Resilience in Francophone and French Film.

French Professors Katarzyna Pieprzak, Cécile Tresfels and Sophie Saint-Just will introduce the films. Tazzeka and Ouvrir la Voix are in French and Félicité is in Lingala and French. The three films will be screened with English subtitles, and are free and open to the public.



Starring: Mahdi Belemlih, Abbes Zahmani, Ouidad Elma, Olivier Sitruk

* In French with English subtitles

Growing up in the Moroccan village of Tazzeka, Elias learned the secrets of traditional Moroccan cuisine from his grandmother who raised him. Years later, meeting a top Paris chef and a young woman named Salma inspires him to leave home.

  • Director: Jean-Philippe Gaud
  • Runtime: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Genre: Comedy

“Director Jean-Philippe Gaud is a natural born storyteller, and with this empathetic eye turned towards the plight of immigrants and their aspirations, the movie is a powerhouse.”

– Film Threat



Starring: Véro Tshanda Beya Mputu, Gaetan Claudia, Papi Mpaka

* In Lingala and French with English subtitles

Félicité is a Congolese singer who desperately needs money after her 14-year-old son Samo suffers a serious accident. She soon finds financial and emotional support from Tabu, one of the regulars in the bar where she performs.

  • Director: Alain Gomis
  • Runtime: 2 hours 9 minutes
  • Genre: Drama

“Director Alain Gomis’s cinematic style is spectacularly multifaceted. The camerawork and cutting often have the fleetness of a documentary”

– New York Times


Ouvrir la voix / Speak up

* In French with English subtitles

Black women whose origins lie in European colonial history in Africa and the Caribbean discuss their different backgrounds and experiences as victims of discrimination, and talk about how they are often reduced to clichés.

  • Director: Amandine Gay
  • Runtime: 2 hours 2 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary

“As radically frank in style as in provides, in its brief span, the sense of a distant journey that ranges far through an unseen France and deeply into the lives of people who live there.... a vital film in itself and a virtual kit for the inspiration of other filmmakers; it’s an opening of voices and of paths.”

– New Yorker

This festival is made possible with the generous support of the Williams College Romance Languages Department and the Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. The festival was co-organized by Jane Canova of the Center for Foreign Languages and French Professor Brian Martin.