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

Over 3 consecutive Mondays at 7PM, on February 17, 24 and March 2 (2020), the Williams Department of Romance Languages will screen 3 recent French and Francophone films at Images Cinema:

❖ February 17 @7PM:  Jean-Philippe Gaud’s Tazzeka (2018)
❖ February 24 @7PM: Alain Gomis’ Félicité (2017)
❖ March 2 @7PM: Amandine Gay’s Ouvrir la Voix (Speak Up) (2017)

Titled “French Film Festival 2020 / Against the Odds: Strength and Resilience in Francophone and French Film,” this year’s Williams College French Film Festival examines the multiple faces of French and Francophone cinema. From the immigrant experience of a young Moroccan chef in Paris, to the journey in the streets of Kinshasa of the nightclub singer Félicité raising money for her teenage son’s operation, and the documented testimonies of 24 Black women on their everyday life in France and Belgium, these films present us with the daily experiences of people in-between places, cultures and languages. They explore the individual complexity of the French and Francophone identity today, as well as the contemporary aftermath of France and Belgium’s colonial past. Comedy, drama and documentary, these three films call for a more nuanced representation of French and Francophone identities, one that takes into consideration the multiplicity of races, cultures and histories. Among current heated discussions in France and the US about diversity and inclusion, as well as a growing awareness of the history of French colonization and its long-term consequences, we hope that this film festival will encourage discussion and debate on multiculturalism, gender, race and representation in contemporary cinema.

Tazzeka (2018)

By Jean-Philippe Gaud

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.
* In French with English subtitles


By Alain Gomis

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.
* In Lingala and French with English subtitles

Ouvrir la voix / Speak up

By Amandine Gay

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.
* In French with English subtitles

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. 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. Images Cinema is located at 50 Spring Street in Williamstown, MA.