7.3/10
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The Great Journey (2004)

Le grand voyage (original title)
Reda, a young French-Moroccan guy and his old father drive from the south of France to Mecca in order for the father to do his pilgrimage. At first distant, they gradually learn to know each other.

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicolas Cazalé ...
Reda
Mohamed Majd ...
The Father
Jacky Nercessian ...
Mustapha
Ghina Ognianova ...
La vieille femme
Kamel Belghazi ...
Khalid
Atik Mohamed ...
Le pélerin Ahmad
Malika Mesrar El Hadaoui ...
La mère
François Baroni ...
Le douanier italien
Krassi Kpacu ...
Le douanier serbe
Kirill Kavadarkov ...
Le barman yougoslave
Blajo Wymenski ...
L'homme du change
Diyan Machev ...
L'homme bavard (as Dean Matchev)
Erol Atac ...
Douanier turc 1 (as Erol Ataç)
Sadik Deveci ...
Douanier turc 2
Nihat Nikerel ...
Chef policier turc
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Storyline

Reda, summoned to accompany his father on a pilgrimage to Mecca, complies reluctantly - as he preparing for his baccalaureat and, even more important, has a secret love relationship. The trip across Europe in a broken-down car is also the departure of his father: upon arrival in Mecca, both Reda and his father are not the characters they were at the start of the movie. Avoiding the hackneyed theme of the return to the homeland, the film uses the departure to renew a connection between two generation. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A voyage beyond corporal life

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

24 November 2004 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Great Journey  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Reda: Where is my cell-phone?
The Father: It's in a garbage can 200 miles away.
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Connections

Featured in Humbert Balsan, producteur rebelle (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Slow moving, but fascinating
4 February 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Reda is a young Frenchman of Moroccan descent. Despite his Muslim heritage, he is very French in attitudes and values. Out of the blue, his father announces that Reda will be driving him to the Hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca--something that Reda has no interest in doing but agrees only out of obligation. As a result, from the start, Reda is angry but being a traditional Muslim man, his father is difficult to talk to or discuss his misgivings. Both father and son seem very rigid and inflexible--and it's very ironic when the Dad tells his son that he should not be so stubborn.

When I read the summary, it talks about how much the characters grew and began to know each other. However, I really don't think they did and that is the fascinating and sad aspect of the film. Sure, there were times of understanding, but so often there was an undercurrent of hostility and repression. I actually liked this and appreciated that there wasn't complete resolution of this--as it would have seemed phony.

Overall, the film is well acted and fascinating--giving Westerners an unusual insight into Islam and the Hajj. It also provides a fascinating juxtaposition of traditional Islam and the secular younger generation. While the slow pace and lack of clarity about the relationship throughout the film may annoy some, I think it gave the film intense realism and made it look like a film about people--not some formula. A nice and unusual film.


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