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The African Doctor

The African Doctor

Jun. 08, 2016 France96 Min.
Your rating: 0
8.6 1,357 votes

Video trailer

Director

Cast

Marc Zinga isSeyolo Zantoko
Seyolo Zantoko
Aïssa Maïga isAnne Zantoko
Anne Zantoko
Jonathan Lambert isLe maire Lavigne
Le maire Lavigne
Rufus isJean
Jean
Bayron Lebli isKamini Zantoko
Kamini Zantoko
Médina Diarra isSivi Zantoko
Sivi Zantoko
Kamini Zantoko isKamini Zantoko
Kamini Zantoko

Synopsis

Seyolo Zantoko is a doctor from Congo who wants to get away from dictatorship and he is hired by the mayor of a small village in the north of France. The locals fear Seyolo and his family as they have never seen African people before, and Seyolo and his family struggle to adapt to this new life. But Seyolo is determined to succeed and to win the trust of the villagers.

The African Doctor
The African Doctor
The African Doctor
The African Doctor
Original titleBienvenue à Marly-Gomont
IMDb Rating7.1 2,772 votes
TMDb Rating6.5 79 votes

(6) comments

  • Greg NelsonNovember 21, 2016Reply

    A Comedic, Rose-Colored Glasses Version of a True Story

    Summary: A medical student in Paris, originally from Africa
    (Zaire/Congo, to be specific), turns down the opportunity to return to
    his homeland and work for the ruling kleptocracy. Instead, in pursuit
    of French residency, he agrees to set up a practice in a small town in
    rural France. Hilarity ensues.

    No, really. Believe it or not, the film is largely a comedy. The
    writers (including the real-life son of the main character) made a
    clear choice to make this film as light-hearted as possible. Frankly,
    that was a stiff challenge. The film could easily have been far darker.
    Perhaps it should have been – but that would be a different film.

    Dr. Zantoko (Marc Zinga in an impressive, enjoyable performance) takes
    on xenophobia, racism, annoying in-laws, marital strife, parenthood,
    unpaid bills, and small-town politics, rarely letting any of it get him
    down.

    Zantoko’s family (Aissa Maiga, Bayron Lebli, and Medina Diarra) also
    turn in winning performances.

    I was less enamored with the performances of the townspeople. But that
    is probably colored by the negative characteristics they were called on
    to exhibit. So maybe they gave great performances??? (FWIW, Jonathan
    Lambert did a great job as the smarmy, back-stabbing politician.)

    If I’m going to criticize something, it’s the redemption arc for the
    town itself. This film tries to pull that off, with some unlikely
    deus-ex-machina events bringing everyone together for the happy ending.

    I get it – the makers wanted an upbeat, feel-good film. Thing is, I’ve
    seen plenty of films where the charming, off-beat townsfolk eventually
    come together with the heroic outsider. Here, the film only made half
    the sale – I bought the family, but not the town.

    The townspeople here aren’t charming or off-beat – they’re just
    xenophobic imbeciles. And frankly, if they were anything close to what
    was shown here, they DIDN’T deserve Dr. Zantoko, in the film or in real
    life.

    But don’t let that criticism steer you away. All in all, this was an
    enjoyable view into worlds that you don’t see in American cinema at
    all, and only rarely in French cinema.

  • Sachin ChavanJanuary 14, 2017Reply

    A timely reminder for us.

    A film for our times, though based on true story decades ago. A black
    Congolese doctor relocates to French countryside with his family and
    face racial distancing by the locals. It’s an uplifting story on how
    the father and the kids turn both the locals and their mother too with
    their talents and unconditionality. In current times when divisive
    tendencies are on the upswing, we need more such reinforcements.

    The movie is a simple one, perhaps made with modest means. But it is
    highly effective at what it attempts.

    The acting, especially of the female lead is very good. And the kids as
    well as the male lead are delightful. The villagers all play their role
    well.

  • tristanh-24900February 27, 2017Reply

    True Comedic Story

    What could have easily been a bleak outlook on racism and the struggle
    for acceptance by an African Doctor and his family in a small village
    turns into a fun and light-hearted comedy the whole family can enjoy.

    With its comedic ups and downs, and a standout cast playing the family,
    this movie is a fun, good-quality time guarantee.

  • tatiana-nunesMarch 21, 2017Reply

    Highly recommended

    For the first time in many, many years, I’m giving a 10 out of 10. In
    2006 one of the movie producers composed a song about this family and
    this story. The same ”rapper” is also in the movie and this is the
    story about his family and being accepted in the 70s in the middle of a
    conservative nowhere. Anyway. He might not be the best movie made but
    it made me laugh and the end made me cry. I loved it and I was
    expecting this for a very long time. Merci Kamini.

  • romjansenApril 29, 2017Reply

    Touching movie about the efforts of a African doctor to integrate into provincial French society

    The African Doctor nicely depicts the struggle in which a late 20th
    century African immigrant may find himself while trying to settle in
    provincial Europe. The cultural clashes are very funny to watch, but
    sometimes they seem a bit overdone. Nonetheless I think the struggle
    hits pretty close to reality. Without being a depressing movie, The
    African Doctor delivers quite a touching story.

  • Thomas ([email protected])May 9, 2017Reply

    Current events elevate the material here, but it’s a good film nonetheless

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

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