The purpose of the African Women in Cinema Blog is to provide a space to discuss diverse topics relating to African women in cinema--filmmakers, actors, producers, and all film professionals. The blog is a public forum of the Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema.

Le Blog sur les femmes africaines dans le cinéma est un espace pour l'échange d'informations concernant les réalisatrices, comédiennes, productrices, critiques et toutes professionnelles dans ce domaine. Ceci sert de forum public du Centre pour l'étude et la recherche des femmes africaines dans le cinémas.


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Director/Directrice, Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema | Centre pour l'étude et la recherche des femmes africaines dans le cinéma


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02 October 2021

Recent films. Ellie Foumbi: Mon père, le diable | My Father, the Devil

Ellie Foumbi

Mon père, le diable | My Father, the Devil
USA (Cameroon)
Fiction - 107min - 2021

Marie works as the head cook in a retirement home in a small mountain town in the south of France. Though she seems relatively well adjusted; Marie harbors a shameful secret—she’s a former child soldier. Silently struggling with the remnants of her traumatic past, Marie hides her PTSD from those around her. Her quiet life is turned upside down the day an African priest named Father Patrick begins to volunteer at the home. She immediately recognizes him from her past. As Father Patrick charms all her co-workers, Marie must decide if she will exact her revenge or cling to the new life she’s built.

Marie est chef cuisinière dans une maison de retraite d'une petite ville de montagne du sud de la France. Bien qu'elle semble bien intégrée, Marie cache un secret dont elle a honte : elle était enfant soldat. Elle combat silencieusement les vestiges du passé traumatique qu'elle porte en elle et cache son TSPT à ceux qui l'entourent. Sa vie tranquille est bouleversée le jour où un prêtre africain, Père Patrick, vient faire du bénévolat dans le foyer. Marie le reconnaît immédiatement. Le père Patrick envoûte tous ses collègues. Marie doit décider si elle va se venger ou garder la nouvelle vie qu'elle a construite.

Director’s Statement

The impact of war on children is further complicated when they become the perpetrators of violence. That’s the real tragedy of child soldiers. I wanted to explore who these children become as adults, how they process the atrocities they witnessed and committed. This is an aspect of war that’s seldom discussed. By setting Mon Père, le Diable in a neutral location, I saw an opportunity not only to explore this issue from a unique perspective, but to make an intimate social commentary on it.
Ellie Foumbi is an actor/writer/director from Cameroon. She holds an MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts in Directing. Her films have screened at several international film festivals, placing in the Student Academy Awards Semifinals and garnering a nomination for an African Movie Academy Award. She was invited to participate in New York Film Festival’s prestigious Artist Academy. Ellie’s projects have been supported by the Venice Biennale College-Cinema, SFFILM Kenneth Rainin Foundation, IFP’s No Borders Project Forum, Film Independent Screenwriting Lab, and Tribeca Film Institute's Untold Stories.

Ellie made her TV directorial debut on BET’s hip-hop anthology, Tales. Her short film, ‘Home’ was commissioned by Netflix, in association with Film Independent, and premiered on their Netflix Film Club’s Youtube channel. Her first feature film, Our Father, the Devil, was presented at the 78th Venice International Film Festival in 2021. She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the Directors Guild of America.

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