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Izidore K. Musallam
In a street called Blue in a very poor neighborhood in Paris, Monsieur Ibrahim is an old Muslim Turkish owner of a small market. He becomes friend of the teenager Jewish Moises, tenderly nicknamed Momo, who lives with his father in a small apartment on the other side of the street. Monsieur Ibrahim gives paternal love and teaches the knowledge of the Qur'an to the boy, receiving in return love and respect. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Do you think I'm good-looking?
You're very good-looking.
Will I be good-looking enough to attract girls without paying?
In a few years, they'll pay for you.
It's not great for now.
Of course not. See how you go about it? You stare as if to say, "See how good-looking I am." And so they just laugh. You have to look at them as if to say, "I've never seen such beauty before."
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Paris, France. Late 50's/early 60's. Momo is a teenager who lives alone with his father in some poor and decadent neighborhood, full of prostitutes and where people of any race and religion live together. He's a jew but he doesn't care that much about religion and what it means. In fact, he can only think about girls and sex; but he girls of his same age wouldn't have sex with him; so he hires a prostitute (and he gets keen of that -so much that he'll become close friends of some of the hookers of his street-). However, his life ain't easy at all: her mother went away years ago, his father doesn't love him ... and it's getting harder everyday; but he finds comfort and friendship in Ibrahim, a Turkish shopkeeper that will become the most relevant figure in Momo's life.
"Monsieur Ibrahim" is a movie about tolerance, about friendship, about real commitment. Every sentence that Ibrahim says to Momo is full of wisdom and simplicity; they're just like darts to be stick in the eye of every single fanatic, racist, and intolerant person in this world. It's a movie about kicking out prejudices. A Jew and a Muslim who love each other, who respect each other, who listen each other. Too wonderful to be true.
The story is constructed in two parts: the inner/initiative trip of Momo, his discovering of sex and love, his discovering of the huge wisdom that Ibrahim and wants to share with the young boy; and the car trip to Turkey together with Monsieur Ibrahim in which he'll learn about different cultures, and religions, and the different ways of life here and there, all along Europe till they get to Ibrahim's birthplace: some little village in the mountains of Turkey.
The film it's been filmed with the same simplicity that Ibrahim shows in his personal philosophy, with a sober and rather neo-realistic style. Young Pierre Boulanger (Momo) gives the perfect reply to Omar Sharif (Ibrahim), an outstanding actor in state of grace. It's a pity that Mr. Sharif had made too many bad films in the last 30 years. His talent has no limits, and this calm serene and tender Ibrahim proves it. I dare to say this is his best performance (and maybe his best film) since Doctor Zhivago.
My rate: 8/10
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