Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Le Grand Voyage|
Actors: Nicolas Cazale, Mohamed Majd, Jacky Nercessian, Ghina Ognianova, Kamel Belghazi
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
A few weeks before his college entrance exams, Reda (Nicolas Cazale), a young man who lives in the south of France, finds himself obligated to drive his father 3,000 miles on his spiritual hajj to Mecca. From the start, th... more »
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S. Youssefi | Chicago, US | 03/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great movie. A bit monotonous at beginning and parts, but very deep message regarding human nature. I understand why it won so many awards at various festivals. It is a dialectic between tradition and modernity or Faith and secularism.
Nevertheless, the message remains that human nature transcends all human characters and triumphs at the end. More things unite us than divide us."
Insha'Allah: The Durability of a Father/Son Relationship
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"LE GRAND VOYAGE is a gentle miracle of a film, a work made more profound because of its understated script by writer/director Ismaël Ferroukhi who allows the natural scenery of this 'road trip' story and the sophisticated acting of the stars Nicolas Cazalé and Mohamed Majd to carry the emotional impact of the film. Ferroukhi's vision is very capably enhanced by the cinematography of Katell Djian (a sensitive mixture of travelogue vistas of horizons and tightly photographed duets between characters) and the musical score by Fowzi Guerdjou who manages to maintain some beautiful themes throughout the film while paying homage to the many local musical variations from the numerous countries the film surveys.
Reda (Nicolas Cazalé) lives with his Muslim family in Southern France, a young student with a Western girlfriend who does not seem to be following the religious direction of his heritage. His elderly father (Mohamed Majd) has decided his time has come to make his Hadj to Mecca, and being unable to drive, requests the reluctant Reda to forsake his personal needs to drive him to his ultimate religious obligation. The two set out in a fragile automobile to travel through France, into Italy, and on through Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, and Turkey to Saudi Arabia. Along the trip Reda pleads with his father to visit some of the interesting sights, but his father remains focused on the purpose of the journey and Reda is irritably left to struggle with his father's demands. On their pilgrimage they encounter an old woman (Ghina Ognianova) who attaches herself to the two men and must eventually be deserted by Reda, a Turkish man Mustapha (Jacky Nercessian) who promises to guide the father/son duo but instead brings about a schism by getting Reda drunk in a bar and disappearing, and countless border patrol guards and custom agents who delay their progress for various reasons. Tensions between father and son mount: Reda cannot understand the importance of this pilgrimage so fraught with trials and mishaps, and the father cannot comprehend Reda's insensitivity to the father's religious beliefs and needs. At last they reach Mecca where they are surrounded by hoards of pilgrims from all around the world and the sensation of trip's significance is overwhelming to Reda. The manner in which the story comes to a close is touching and rich with meaning. It has taken a religious pilgrimage to restore the gap between youth and old age, between son and father, and between defiance and acceptance of religious values.
The visual impact of this film is extraordinary - all the more so because it feels as though the camera just 'happens' to catch the beauty of the many stopping points along the way without the need to enhance them with special effects. Nicolas Cazalé is a superb actor (be sure to see his most recent and currently showing film 'The Grocer's Son') and it is his carefully nuanced role that brings the magic to this film. Another fine film from The Film Movement, this is a tender story brilliantly told. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, September 08"
The road to Mecca . . .
Ronald Scheer | Los Angeles | 10/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In this French-Moroccan road movie, a father and son travel by car from France to Saudi Arabia. For the father, it is his once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca. For the teenage son, completely westernized, with a non-Muslim girlfriend and school exams to take, it is the worst possible turn of events. They quarrel much of the way or press on in bitter silence, as the road takes them through Italy, the Balkans, Turkey, Syria and Jordan. Along the way, there is trouble at border crossings and they pick up riders - not always willingly. Eventually, in a blow-up over a gift of money to a begging woman at a well in the desert, they reach a crisis that threatens to separate them.
As travelogue, the film is fascinating. European landscapes give way dramatically in Turkey to the East, with a visit to the Blue Mosque in Istanbul and a nightclub with singing and dancing. Intensity builds as their journey converges with that of other pilgrims until they merge with the vast crowds from all over the Muslim world in Mecca. The performances are fine, as the mercurial emotions of the son drive his moods in conflicting directions and the stolid father clings stubbornly to his own determination to do it all his way. A winner at the Venice Film Festival."
Terrigal | NSW | 11/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The company releasing Le Grand Voyages prides itself on bringing great cinema to the viewer. This movies like their others is not maintream but don't fear, with this company you're in good hands. The hook for me is usually a director that I'm following or a particular actor that I like or the music is by some great composer like Morricone or Preisner. On this occasion I bought the film because of Nicholas Cazale. I wasn't disppaointed. The clash of religious intolerance and western liberalism, which is the subtext of the movie, is sensitively handled.