Le Grand Voyage

Film, Drama
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Time Out says

Did St Paul star in the first road movie? Despite having a sequence set on the road to Damascus, the character reassessment in Ismaël Ferroukhi’s debut – a prize-winner at Venice – is more drip-drip than thunderbolt, and none the worse for that. Naturalised second generation French Moroccan Réda (Cazalé) is obliged to foresake his retakes to drive his father (Majd) the 6,000 miles to Mecca. Their semi-estrangement is based on simple enough terms – ‘you may know how to read and write, but you know nothing about life,’ the unnamed father snaps – but trite opposition is avoided: each is stubborn yet sympathetic in his frustrations, they just speak different languages – literally. The film’s linguistic shifts hint at its subtlety: the father’s use of Arabic initially sets him apart but as they cross through Europe into Asia the balance tilts; by journey’s end, Réda is the one reduced to infantile dependence. Despite a couple of schematic touches, Ferroukhi’s faith in small gestures and silences makes for a touching, plausible trip.

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Details

Release details

Rated:
PG
Release date:
Friday October 14 2005
Duration:
108 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Ismael Ferroukhi
Screenwriter:
Ismael Ferroukhi
Cast:
Nicolas Cazalé
Ghina Ognianova
Kamel Belghazi
Jacky Nercessian
Mohammed Majd