In OMEN, Belgian-Congolese musician Baloji crafts a stunningly confident feature directorial debut, bringing his multi-hyphenate creative prowess and unique perspective to this intoxicating tale of superstition, grief, and prejudice in modern-day Africa. Accused of sorcery as an infant because of his strange birthmark, Koffi (Marc Zinga) was banished from his ancestral home in the Democratic Republic of Congo and has been living most of his life in Europe. Returning to the DRC for the first time in 18 years, Koffi and his pregnant, white fiancée (Lucie Debay) receive a frosty welcome that soon devolves into outright hostility as deep-rooted fears come to the fore. From there, Baloji expands his focus to include additional characters whose stories reflect and intertwine with Koffi’s. By exploring the lives of four people struggling against the roles forced upon them by society, the filmmaker offers a meditation on defining one’s own identity in an environment steeped in inherited beliefs. Throughout, Baloji revels in impressionistic imagery and enveloping sound, creating a world of troubling beauty befitting the film’s darkly fantastical theme.
CAST: Marc Zinga, Lucie Debay, Eliane Umuhire, Yves-Marina Gnahoua
All sales are final. Admission is not guaranteed after scheduled start time.
CLICK HERE to return to the complete 32nd Philadelphia Film Festival schedule.