(Alain Gomis)

Véro Tshanda Beya in a scene from Alain Gomis'  Felicite  {Photo: STRAND RELEASING}

Véro Tshanda Beya in a scene from Alain Gomis' Felicite {Photo: STRAND RELEASING}

Félicité screens at the AMC River East on Friday, October 20 at 1:00PM. For additional ticketing information, refer to the Chicago International Film Festival website here

Félicité (Véro Tshanda Beya) is summoned by doctors with the news that her son has been in an accident. They can perform the necessary surgery to save his leg, but will require a sizable down payment to proceed with the procedure. And so begins her Dardenne-esque journey as she attempts to collect money from acquaintances and colleagues. One almost becomes disappointed that the journey, less than half-way through the film, won’t follow through in its dramatic conceit à la Two Days, One Night, but rather finds Félicité fail to collect enough money and rather has to make arrangements to care for her impaired, virtually silent and still throughout the film, son. These fundamentally familiar dramatic elements are complemented by visually sumptuous images shot on 16mm that finds Félicité wandering through dimly lit forestry and plunging into a lake. But these moments provoke a symbolic tenor that magnify a thinly sketched and frankly rote narrative that never seems worthy of these parabolic flourishes.