The Franco-Congolese rapper, founding member of Ministère AMER, portrays a diamond dealer awaiting his regularization, in love with a gallery owner from Frankfurt. This film, directed by German Lisa Biewirth, will be released on June 15.
In 1992 he founded with Stomy Bugsy Ministère AMER, a rap group which signed Why so much hate?, an anti-cop album that will cause a scandal. Today, almost thirty years later, the rapper becomes an actor in a social drama, The princedirected by the German Lisa Biewirth.
The screenplay of this film, which is inspired by a true story, explores the difficulties that a mixed couple can encounter in Germany, in the city of Frankfurt more precisely. Monika (Ursula Strauss), a professional gallery owner, falls in love with Joseph (Passi Balende), a Congolese diamond dealer, who hopes to receive his regularization papers soon. Despite the obstacles they have to overcome, despite their cultural difference, they think they can have a romance. Reality, social pressures, prejudices will bring them back to a bitter reality…
The theme of dual culture
In an interview granted to Radio Prague International, Passi Balende described with hindsight the character of Joseph, the pivotal character of the Prince: “ he is a bit withdrawn, very introverted. Above all, he is determined to survive, to get out of his situation. He just wants one, two or three million to get ahead.»
The theme of different cultural backgrounds of course underpins the entire narrative of the film. The rapper-actor didn’t hesitate to say why immediately after the first reading he thought the role of Joseph was for him: “ When I read the screenplay, I liked it because of these stories of interbreeding, encounters, different continents. I myself am French, but I was born in the Congo, so I know something about the double culture. I saw that the film tackled this theme of plural identity but also the question of undocumented migrants, which is very topical. This is a subject that affected me but which I knew would affect so many other people in Europe. But it’s a film that could have echoes in Africa.The floor now belongs to the public, The prince will be released in France on June 15.
The prince by Lisa Biewirth, released on June 15, 2022, with Ursula Strauss, Passi Balende…