a still from Our Father, the Devil

‘Our Father the Devil’ Trailer: An African Refugee Surprises Faces a Terrifying Past 2023 Indie Spirit Best Feature Nominee

Among this year’s Film Independent Spirt Award nominations for Best Feature were ‘Bones and All’, ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’, ‘TÁR’, ‘Women Talking’ and a thriller set in France about an African refugee facing her past.

The film didn’t win given the stiff competition, but it was a worthy inclusion for its powerful portrayal of a woman (Babetida Sadjo) grappling with terrifying events in her homeland that still haunt her now – and the introduction of a priest into her life (Souléymane Sy Savané, Film Independent Spirit Award nominee for 2008’s “Goodbye Solo”) who reactivates her trauma.

Written and directed by Ellie Foumbi, “Our Father, the Devil” will be released by Fandor and Cineverse in select theaters, including the Quad Cinema in New York City on August 25 and the Laemmle Royal in West Los Angeles on September 1. Watch the trailer, an IndieWire exclusive, below.

According to a synopsis, the film stars a compelling Sadjo as Marie, the head cook of a retirement home in a small French town. Her work routine is interrupted by the arrival of a new priest (Savané) who arouses a visceral repulsion in her. When she realizes that she is the same man responsible for unspeakable acts committed in her hometown when she was a child, Marie is forced to come to terms with her darkest impulses.

“Our Father, the Devil” premiered at the Venice and Tribeca film festivals, among others, where it received widespread acclaim for Foumbi’s feature film celebrated in Cameroon. “An edgy, sometimes unwieldy exploration of trauma and forgiveness, the enigmatic drama goes places you almost certainly wouldn’t expect – and, once there, makes you wonder how you ever thought it could go anywhere else,” sister site IndieWire Variety wrote of the film earlier this year.

Watch the trailer for “Our Father, the Devil,” available exclusively on IndieWire, below.