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The Adventures of Felix / Drôle de Félix

Year of release: 2000

Directed by: Olivier Ducastel, Jacques Martineau


When Felix, a gay, HIV-positive man of mixed French Maghrebi descent, loses his job in Dieppe he takes the opportunity to embark  upon a journey in search of his father, whom he never met.

But en route to Marseilles, he strikes up friendships with a number of people who become a new imagined form of French family. The various travel companions from whom he hitches a lift or whom he meets in the street are referred to as 'my cousin', 'my little brother'  or 'my sister' etc. Although Felix has witnessed an incident of racist abuse that even resulted in manslaughter, none of the 'family members' he befriends appear to have any racial prejudice. They welcome Felix with open arms and would all like to spend more time in his company, they share their family histories and even their beds with him. It also turns out that Felix is not the only one from a 'broken home'. His 'sister' has three children from three different men and lives with another man and one of her sons regards his biological father as well as his mother's live-in boyfriend and the daddies of his half-siblings as his 'Daddy'. In this way, The Adventures of Felix questions a notion of the family based on bloodline and descent, suggesting instead that voluntary affiliations between people provide bonds just as powerful as those of traditional kinship.

In the end Félix is rejoined by his long-term white French boyfriend Daniel and abandons the quest for his biological father since he has come to realise that his he is part of a larger French family of nation and the French republican tradition with its key values, liberté, égalité, fraternité, that disavow individual differences related to gender, class, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.

Internet Movie Database

Filed under: Fathers | Journey | Maghrebi French | Queer diaspora

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