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Quartier Mozart

Une fillette répondant au nom de Chef de Quartier est, au goût de la sorcière Mam Thecla, un peu trop curieuse pour son âge. Celle-ci, pour la punir, décide de la transformer en jeune homme; et c'est ainsi que commencent ses mésaventures. Quartier Mozart est une chronique urbaine de la vie moderne africaine, un hymne à la vie dans les quartiers d'Afrique.


Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Cameroon/FRance, 80 min, 1992
Cast: Pauline Andela, Pauline Andela, Jimmy Biyona, Essindi Mindja, Sandrine Ola'a
Produced by: Jean-Pierre Bekolo
Cinematography: Régis Blondeau    
Film Editing: Jean-Pierre Bekolo    
Production Design: Maria Dubin    
Costume Design: Maria Dubin    


Distribution: Germany, Austria, Switzerland
Contact: info(at)africavenir.org
Format: DVD
Language: French with English Subtitles
Poster/Pictures/Press Kit: Can be sent digitally

Full Synopsis

Jean-Pierre Bekolo channels the manic freeverse, urban culture, and confrontational humor of Spike Lee's early films in Quartier Mozart, an eccentric, socially incisive fable on a schoolgirl known as Queen of the 'Hood who, with the aid of the village witch, Maman Thekla, asks to experience life as a man in Yaounde's working class district of Mozart. Metamorphosed into a handsome, young man named My Guy, the metaphoric New Man emerges from a desolate field where he immediately catches the eye of Saturday, the virginal daughter of the police chief, Mad Dog.

Accompanied by Maman Thekla, now transformed into a modern day folkloric comic figure, Panka who emasculates those who unwittingly shake his hand, he becomes My Guy's guide and protector to the social and sexual politics of the quarter: a self-made man who reinforces his stature by taking on a second wife, the subtle inculcation of Christianity into daily life, even as the people continue to practice traditional - often conflicting - customs, the marginalized role and maltreatment of women that sharply contrasts with their real roles as family nurturers and community builders (and, as in the case of Mad Dog's exiled first wife, literally feeds society when she sets up a vending stand near a high traffic street). As in Lee's films, Bekolo uses archetypal characters, informal fourth wall address, jaunty camerawork, and integral incorporation of pop music to illustrate the paradox of social and gender inequity and anachronism of contemporary life in post-colonial Cameroon.

Text from the Strictly Film School Website


  • 1993 Nominated for the British Film Awards (Tarantinos Reservoir Dogs)
  • 1992 Cannes Film Festival Prix Afrique en Création
  • 1992 Locarno Film Festival Prix Swissair - Prix Carte Jeunes
  • 1992 Montréal World Film Festival Mention Spéciale du Jury

Critiques presse

"Take one horny young female transformed into a man, a chief policeman who is afraid of his wives even when he’s holding a gun at them, a potentially young gay man who wears tuxedo jacket and a red scarf, and a bunch of middle age ladies who spend their days making fun of men’s performance in bed and you have a delightful 80 minute fiesta. If you have to watch one Cameroonian movie, this is the one. Also pay attention to the soundtrack. It’s simply hilarious and it successfully reflects the moods and the attitudes of the characters." Codrin Arsene

"In times when movies about Africa focus on either war, violence, AIDS, or poverty, a delightful comedy such as Quartier Mozart is both unexpected and sublime. If you have the chance, watch this great movie. It is one of the savviest African comedies of the 1990s." Codrin Arsene

"Jean-Pierre Bekolo is doing with Quartier Mozart what Spike Lee has done for Brooklyn. This film is audacious, inventive, smart! Quartier Mozart is the character, sex is the challenge from the little ones to the elders... with all the trouble sex can bring. And we laugh at all this. Each line of dialog is full of energy... sometimes too much energy added by the pace of the editing and its music. This is what I expect from a movie, to reinvent the culture of the city it is taking place. Quartier Mozart is redefining what is a movie for Cameroon People as well as for all Africans. Very modern in the form and the content it is a real piece of art as well as a piece of pleasure!" IMDB user review, Helene Ebah from Paris, France, 2005

"I was amazed by the innovation and the originality of a director who wasn't trying to apply any formulae the western audience are used to and at the same time telling a popular story. What is visible is the creativity and the courage of the filmmaker who made this first feature at 22 in his native Cameroon." IMDB user review, lohez, USA, 2003

Le réalisateur: Jean-Pierre Bekolo

Né au Cameroun en 1966, Jean-Pierre Bekolo Obama est cinéaste et enseigne le cinéma aux États-Unis. Il est révélé à Cannes 1992 avec son film "Quartier Mozart" qu'il réalise à tout juste 25 ans. Ce film a obtenu de nombreux prix à Locarno, Montréal, Ouagadougou et une nomination aux British Awards aux côtés de "Reservoir Dogs" de Tarantino. Pour les 100 ans du cinéma, il réalise "Le Complot d'Aristote", un film appartenant à une série commandée par le British Film Institute à laquelle ont participé Martin Scorsese, Stephen Frears, Bernardo Bertolucci et Jean-Luc Godard. Il a été professeur à l'University of North Carolina à Chapel Hill, à la Virginia Polytechnic Institute et à Duke University. Il a notamment développé une méthode d'enseignement, Auteur Learning, qu'il expérimente dans les Universités noires des Etats-Unis. Son dernier long métrage, "Les Saignantes", a obtenu l'Etalon d'Argent et le prix Meilleures Actrices au Fespaco 2007. Il a réalisé la même année une installation vidéo, "Une Africaine dans l'Espace", au Musée du Quai Branly à Paris, puis une série télévisée au Mozambique et en Afrique du Sud destinée à toutes les chaînes de télévision du continent sur cette jeunesse Imagin Africa. Enfin il a été invité à participer à la classe inaugurale de leaders au sein de la nouvelle école de Bill Clinton ; la Clinton School of Public Service. Il est l'auteur du livre Africa For The Future, le cinéma pourrait-il permettre d'accoucher d'un nouveau monde ? (2009). Son dernier film en date est le long métrage "Le Président" qui a suscité une vaste polémique.

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