“Critics Pick. Mbakam hits a remarkable balance. The sociopolitical truths that make up Pierrette’s losing streak are evident, without the miserable patronizing so common in films about struggle in Africa.” - Beatrice Loayza, New York Times

“What makes MAMBAR PIERRETTE special is how ordinary it is. This is perhaps damning with faint praise, but to see what feels like a mumblecore indie movie about a struggling single mother in Douala, Cameroon is just magnificent.” Sarah Manvel, In Their Own League

Monday, March 4, 8:30 p.m. & Thursday, March 7, 6:15 p.m. | Cameroonian born and Belgium based Rosine Mfetgo Mbakam’s (CHEZ JOLIE COIFFURE) MAMBAR PIERRETTE makes its Chicago premiere after an illustrious festival run, including  presentations in the Directors' Fortnight at Cannes and the New York Film Festival. Set in Cameroon, the amiable but overworked seamstress Mambar busily prepares clothes for the start of the school year, while dutifully serving as a confidant for her customers and community. After experiencing a series of setbacks, including a torrential rain that threatens to flood her workshop, Mambar struggles to stay afloat. A narrative film deftly balanced with documentary elements (the film’s nonprofessional cast includes Mbakam’s cousin in the lead role), MAMBAR PIERRETTE is a graceful and powerfully subtle portrait of the little moments thatcompounded by systems of oppression—can suddenly redefine our lives.

Awards & Nominations

Nominee - Quinzaine des cinéastes, Director’s Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival
Nominee - Sutherland Award, First Feature Competition, London Film Festival

Chicago European Union Film Festival - Spotlight on BelgiumJoin us this year as we dive into the best of Belgian cinema new and old. Presenting Chicago audiences with a potent cultural immersion and showcasing bright new native talents alongside a slice of repertory favorites. View full festival.

The Film Center thanks the consulates, consuls general, and cultural institutes of the European Union in Chicago and their embassies in Washington, D.C., for their support, partnership, and collaboration. Special thanks to Paul M. Van Halteren, president of EuroChicago and Honorary Consul of Belgium in Illinois, and our 2024 Belgium Spotlight partners:

Belgian Presidency of the EU CouncilBe BrusselsFlandersWallonia ExportWallonie BruxellesFederation WalloniaEuro CircleEUC

European Union Center w/European Union Center at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign through support from the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI NRC Program.

The Film Center is ADA accessible. This presentation will be projected without open captions. The theater is hearing-loop equipped. For accessibility requests, please email filmcenter@saic.edu