The African Doctor
The African Doctor (original title: Bienvenue à Marly-Gomont) is a 2016 French comedy-drama film based on the life of the father of the musician Kamini, co-written by Kamini and directed by Julien Rambaldi. It stars Marc Zinga and Aïssa Maïga.
|The African Doctor|
Theatrical release poster
|Bienvenue à Marly-Gomont|
|Directed by||Julien Rambaldi|
|Produced by||Pauline Duhault |
|Screenplay by||Julien Rambaldi|
|Music by||Emmanuel Rambaldi|
|Edited by||Avilio Pereira|
TF1 Films Production
|Distributed by||Mars Films|
|Box office||$4.4 million|
Seyolo Zantoko has just completed his degree at a French medical school; he was the only African male in his class and circle of friends. After completing his medical degree, he turns down employment in Zaire as the personal physician to the president, Joseph-Desiré Mobutu, as he wishes to avoid the corruption associated with his country. Instead, he is hired by the mayor of a small village, Marly-Gomont in the north of France. He, his wife Anne and their two children, Sivi and Kamini, are disappointed to learn that they are living in a rural village, far from the excitement of Paris. His decision to live in France is mainly driven by the hope of a better education for his children, but he also hopes to apply for French citizenship. Seyolo and his family struggle to adapt to the new life as the locals - unfamiliar with African professionals - fear the newcomers, the children are bullied at school and Seyolo's practice struggles to survive, as the locals prefer to drive to the next village whenever they need a doctor, instead of being visited by a "sorcerer". Seyolo and Anne have a heated argument in front of relatives who have come for a visit, during which Seyolo reluctantly promises that they will eventually move to Brussels, where some of their relatives live. However, Seyolo and his family eventually win the villagers' trust, and his practice becomes a success after he delivers the baby of a local farmer.
Following Seyolo's rise in reputation and popularity, he tells the mayor that he wants to stay in Marly-Gomont for the long term. The same evening, the mayor and his wife go to the Zantokos' house for dinner, and the mayor mentions his happiness that Seyolo is staying in the village. Anne is shocked and angry at this revelation, as Seyolo had promised that they would move to Brussels and had not told Anne that he had accepted the mayor's request to stay in Marly-Gomont. Anne leaves to stay in Brussels with the extended family, and the couple's relationship is in jeopardy.
Meanwhile, in Marly-Gomont, Seyolo is arrested by the French police for immigration irregularities, days before his application for French citizenship is due to be approved, and he is forced to stop working. Anne eventually returns and agrees to stay with Seyolo in Marly-Gomont. The only hope for Seyolo and his family is that the current mayor be re-elected, although his opponent, Lavigne, is currently leading the polls and is determined to stop Seyolo from practising in the village, preferring instead to hire a doctor of French origin. However, Sivi is discovered to be a talented soccer player and wins the hearts of the community by single-handedly helping the local team to progress in the league. Seyolo and his children hatch a plan to show the villagers that if Lavigne wins the election, the family will have to leave Marly-Gomont. The villagers, upset at the prospect of losing their best soccer player, turn out to vote, and the incumbent mayor is re-elected. Finally, the children at the local school perform a play that re-enacts the arrival, and eventual acceptance, of Seyolo and his family, and they realise that they are loved by the whole community (except Lavigne, who leaves before the end of the show). Seyolo's practice reopens and the family remains in Marly-Gomont.