The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
The Times 

Movie Briefs

Michele's Picks


The African Doctor (Bienvenue à Marly-Gomont, 2016)

Inspired by true events, The African Doctor is about a doctor from Zaire, who moves with his family to a small provincial village in France, in the mid-1970s. For Seyolo Zantoko, serving the villagers as their doctor provides an avenue to gain French nationality, and better opportunities for his family.

The story was written by Zantoko’s son, the Hip Hop artist Kamini. It is about how the family overcame obstacles to being accepted by the villagers.

When Zantoko asked one farmer how to overcome the villagers’ reluctance to being treated by him, he was told to simply get to know them.

Zantoko took that first step at a bar with the local men, where he downed his first-ever glass of Calvados, and took up his first game of darts to win them over.

Over time, the villagers came to accept and respect them, and to champion Zantoko as their doctor.

In a warm and witty way, The African Doctor shows how hearts and minds can be changed.

The 2016 film, The African Doctor runs 96 minutes. It is directed by Julien Rambaldi, and stars Aissa Maiga and Marc Zinga. FYI: It is subtitled, as many of the best films are.

News of the World (Universal Studios, 2020)

If you love a good western, you will like the 2020 film News of the World starring Tom Hanks.

Hanks plays Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a Civil War veteran, who earns his money traveling from place to place, reading the news of the world to eager townspeople.

The story follows his quest to find the blood relatives of Johanna Leonberger, a 10-year-old white girl, who was captured and raised by the Kiowa people.

Johanna and Kidd have been traumatized by events from their respective pasts, but the 400-mile journey they take over the harsh and unforgiving landscape of the Texas plains provides ample time for each to begin to heal.

True to the western genre, this film has its share of villains and heroes, a shoot-out with the bad guys, and a happy ending.

Think True Grit, but without the snappy dialogue.

The News of the World runs 1 hr. 59 min. and is rated PG-13. It is directed by Paul Green. Produced and distributed by Universal Studios it is available On Demand and Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube.


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