Poor, rich, old, young, everyone has a dream. Earning (more) money? Buying a (new) house? Getting a (new) job. We have all thought about this. However, for some people, their dreams are more achievable than for others. Mostly it depends on health, wealth and, how sad it’s still is, on race. That’s exactly what French (or Le bleu blanc rouge de mes cheveux, the French title), the first live action short movie from Josza Anjembe, is all about. Pursuing dreams, no matters what the consequences could be.
Amidou (Augustin Ruhabura), originally from Cameroon, is living with his wife Djenabou (Mata Grabin) in France, in the hope of getting a better life. During the search of that dream, he comes across different problems. Most of which he can solve. However, one ‘problem’ he can’t solve is his Cameroonian background, which prevents him to become a real citizen of France. Despite all the misery and dark periods, Amidou and Djenabou decide to start a real family. First, they got their daughter Seyna (Grace Seri) and later their son Djibril (Ousmane Macalou) was born. Fast forward to 18 years later, to the moment Seyna just graduated from high school. After this success, her dream is going to university to study politics and to get a degree in that. However, just like her father, she faces some difficult of which most of them are involved her race and background. She might be born in France, but she has a Cameroonian identity. To start her politics studies, she needs to apply for a French identity. which can go hand in hand with problems and difficulties. As a man who already saw the mean world, her father warns her for the possible disappointment that might come with trying achieving her dreams. Their arguments started getting heated up until there’s almost a point of no return. Seyna is torn between achieving her dream, that might be too high for her, or accepting her ‘fate’ in the hope of not going through the same rough period as her father did.
As you can tell, French is a powerful story about trying to fulfill your dreams but being stopped because of your race, one of the few things in life you definitely can change. The movie might not have been based on real-life events. However, it definitely could have been because even these days, people are going through this. It’s a shame that hardworking and dedicated people are not able to achieve their dreams, just only because of their race. After watching French, you might realize how lucky you are and how unfair life can be. The life that started the same for all of us, being born.
We all know that trying to obtain dreams can be very nerve-wracking and emotional and if there’s one thing that French is, then is it emotional. Sadness, anger. frustration, happiness. it’s all there. Most of that, thanks to the incredible performances of the amazing cast. Augustin Ruhabura, who we already were able to see in French movies such as Arctic Heart (originally called Le secret des banquises) and 40-love (from which the original title is Terre battue) plays the father who we probably all had. A loving father who wants to protect his precious daughter against the cruel world that awaits her. That daughter, who wants to achieve her dreams with all the things she has in her power, is being portrayed by Grace Seri, who we’ll see in Lover for a Day (released under the French name of L’amant d’un jour) next year and Damien Décembre. Amidou his loving wife, who try to do everything she can to bring peace back to the family, is coming to life thanks to Mata Grabin, who has played various roles in both theatre and film. Ousmane Macalou brings the jolly and funny but sometimes also very worried Djibril to the big screen.
During the making of French, some dreams came true. Most of them were from the cast and crew from the movie. Still, this film proves that not everyone has the same changes, even during these days. An incredible movie, with a very important message and a wonderful cast. Is there any reason why you shouldn’t watch this movie?
Liselotte Vanophem, Film and Celebrity Reporter
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