originally in French and translated from French to English by 3E Web Media
Glad is a director and poet “from a country in Africa” as he likes to put it. Yet I know for a fact that he is a child of the sea, a native of Pointe-Noire, the economic capital of the Congo – Brazzaville. He is now part of the flagship of directors from the Congo as evidenced by his various awards and honors.
I knew the universe of the “evil-sensitive” poet, as I like to call him amicably, and this film was an opportunity for me to discover his handling of the society to the pictures.
So what is this movie? It tells us of destinies. It also tells the story of Brazzaville today. The capital of a central African country in the 2000s attempts to deal with its social issues while still offering a beaming face.
This is the story of the Big Boss and concupiscent Pascal who has views on his private secretary. Nothing new under our suns thus far.
Pascal is a director, the big boss of a company that leads his life in great style (luxury car, lavish villa…) and who has his habits in the big hotels of the place. Glad forces the trait with humor.
The film opens up on the “gallant” dates of Pascal precisely with a woman, in his “operating theater” as he refers to it with a smile. A rich man who satisfies his every wish … worn refrain yet undoubtedly well presented and equally well used.
Pascal is the character towards which converge the different fates of some ordinary people of the capital. Indeed he has the right over lives, droit du seigneur, right to humiliate but also to kill, all on the strength of the CFA bill.
One can follow the course of Thomas the debonair in love, a seller of fried chicken in the night markets of Brazzaville who becomes Pascal’s handyman.
There is also the model employee dismissed by Pascal in order to satisfy his predatory instinct on the employee’s wife who is none other than Pascal’s personal secretary.
Or track Trésor who is Pascal’s eventual father-in-law. Funny and talkative Trésor, who never fails to condemn his fate and his country for every power cut, is unemployed and spends his life borrowing money to buy himself a beer or find a warm shoulder while his wife spends most of her time in one of these revivalist churches that grow on all street corners.
The picture painted by Glad is complete, humorous with plans that make us travel to Brazzaville, this city that breathes deeply, that has to deal with the most harmful fumes of society, the smokes of its contradictions without losing its oxygen of hope.
Glad Amog Lemra so films the insolence and impunity of those who work downtown, occupants of “high” positions against the liveliness, the inventiveness in poor neighborhoods but also the indolence of some Brazzaville people who delight in the very system they denounce. The film escapes thereby a stereotypical treatment.
I salute the cast because the actors play their role in a pertinent fashion.
A character marks us with his presence and his comic timing. That is Clauvice Ngoubili, who plays the role of the lazy Trésor. There is also much to say about the actor who plays the role of the unscrupulous dandy-like pastor.
This is a scenario that takes a road and tell stories that fit credibly in this ensemble film.
Where then do we find the poet?
Glad’s poetry is found in the way some scenes are filmed.
The love scene including the drunk husband on the sofa is filmed without vulgarity, the deflowering of this young girl illustrated by a man who eats greedily, eyes bulging over this scarlet papaya or the landing that opens the film against the boat which closes it.
A special mention is to be made to the very first scene of the film: children looking ahead. This is a scene that the viewer does not immediately understand. This same scene then closes the film, except that in the meantime we’ve realised that these young people are watching this sad spectacle in one of those fortune cinemas … These kids watch helplessly … just as spectators.. A nod to the youth.
Funny and tragic. To be had!!!