The city is the perfect place to listen to the blues. After being worn and torn by the sharp edges of financial peril or an undercurrent of violence, it makes sense to retreat to your local bar and let the music take you away.
Félicité (Vero Tshanda Beya Mputu) is a singer and single mother who lives in the messy town of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is a rough and tough survivor who has spent many a long night singing in a bar trying to lift the sagging spirits of the patrons. She and they yearn to have the music ease their pain.
When Félicité’s son is seriously injured in a motorbike accident, she faces a crisis. In order to pay for an expensive operation to save his leg, she has to contact everybody who owes her money or might lend her some, including the boy’s estranged father, club owners, and even a gangster. She gets beat up in this effort in more ways than one.
Félicité is directed by Alain Gomis, a French-Senegalese filmmaker who also wrote the screenplay with Delphine Zingg and Olivier Loustau. As her son's condition worsens and she runs out of time to raise the money, Félicité gets some support from Tabu (Papi Mpaka), a local mechanic she has hired to fix her refrigerator. He even declares his love for her.
In this slow moving drama, a variety of musical excursions are taken to show how music can serve as an energizer, a soulful elixir, a soothing balm, and a momentary pick-me-up.