The African Doctor (Bienvenue à Marly-Gomont) is based on an inspiring true story of an African family trying to settle down in a conservative rural France of the 1970s.  A young man from Congo, who has recently graduated as a doctor from a French university, has two choices in front of him. To take up the job as the personal doctor to his country’s (Dictator) president which promises a luxurious lifestyle, or, work in a rural village outside of Paris as the local doctor. He opts for the latter as it will give him French citizenship, dignity, and a path to a brighter future for his kids. The people in the French village, having not seen a black man in their midst reacts annoyingly and show their disapproval directly to the new arrivals. How the “Black” (African) Doctor and the kids work hard and earn the friendship of the local community is the story.

The lead couple played by Marc ZingaAïssa Maïga, have done a stellar performance, especially in the scene when the wife learns that they could’ve lived a comfortable life in their country instead of suffering in cold in an unwelcome French village and it was her husband who threw that opportunity away. The movie remained focused on the family, with only a few “cinematic” scenes like the school play in the end which portrays the incidents that happened after the Doctor arrived.

A feel-good movie and a great way to start in 2018.

Available on Netflix.

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