Our Father, the Devil (2023)

Our Father, the Devil (2023)

A haunting directorial debut that unfolds in a unique psychological drama

7.0

Movie

France, United States of America
English, French
Drama, Mystery, Thriller
2023
ELLIE FOUMBI
Babetida Sadjo, Franck Saurel, Jennifer Tchiakpe
108 min

TLDR

It stumbles in certain moments, and I’m not sure I’m super satisfied with the ending, but Babetida Sadjo… What a performer.

What it's about

After fleeing to France, refugee Marie forged an easy life as a head chef in a small-town retirement home. However, her quiet life is upended by the arrival of Father Patrick, a charismatic Catholic priest who once was the African warlord that slaughtered her family.

The take

There are horrors in the world that people have faced, and if they survive, they live with the trauma for a long, long time. But what happens when the perpetrator of that trauma has moved on? What happens when they resolve to be better, and pursue a different path? Our Father, the Devil is a psychological drama where an African refugee has to deal with seeing the warlord that once destroyed her entire village, but it unfolds in such a unique way, with the riveting Babetida Sadjo living a split life between her chef and caretaking career in the day, and being tormented by the past at night. It’s a fascinating portrait, one that we haven’t seen in a while, of a traumatized refugee granted the rare opportunity to exact retribution.

What stands out

Babetida Sadjo. It’s a difficult role, but she manages to make Marie Cissé feel understandable, even in her darker moments.

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