Set in France during the struggle for Algerian independence, Messaoud's mother is terminally ill and his father, needing to work long hours in the factory, can't look after him, so decides ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Georges
...
Gisèle
...
Jacques
Samy Seghir ...
Messaoud / Michou
Medy Kerouani ...
Abdel
...
Akli (as Fellag)
Catherine Hiegel ...
La directrice de l'orphelinat
...
Le cafetier
Bernard Yerlès ...
Le copain de Georges
Gérald Laroche ...
Robert
Chick Ortega ...
Viguier
...
Vendeuse papeterie
Gilles Détroit ...
Le curé
...
Duval
...
Max
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Storyline

Set in France during the struggle for Algerian independence, Messaoud's mother is terminally ill and his father, needing to work long hours in the factory, can't look after him, so decides to put him and his older brother Abdel in foster care. Sent to the countryside, Abdel has to work on a farm, but Messaoud is taken in by a childless woman, who conceals his Arab origins from her fiercely Gaullist ex-army husband. Re-named Michel/Michou, and with his hair comically dyed blond, the young boy quickly steals the hearts of both foster-parents, and eventually is instrumental in saving their troubled marriage. Written by Graham Inglis

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Release Date:

28 February 2007 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Le'ehov et Michou  »

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Goofs

Michou is referring to a famous series on TV in France, Thierry la Fronde, which aired for the first time in 1963, which is two or three years later as the war in Algeria is not over yet according to the plot. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Touching film on the victory of human relations over inhuman politics
10 June 2007 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

I saw the film when returning on a long-distance flight with Air France

  • the on-board video-system was all f**ked although the plane was the


same as the outgoing KLM flight which had a nice video-on-demand system
  • well, when will AF stop to disappoint their customers? Anyway, the


system didn't help and I only saw the flick because there was time to kill and nothing else to see. So much to the not very intriguing title ... well, Gerard Depardieu's taking part also helped in selecting the film. The story unravels around the relationship between an Algerian boy and his fostering mother - a rather simple woman from a small village. The film gives some background on the politics of the time - depressing and suppressing - and goes on to show how brave minds (the mother, the school teacher, maybe also the priest), although they knew about the boy's origin, gave him shelter and security. There is even a hint at the situation of the Jews in WW2 France. It also shows how men in general are apt to follow irrational and inhuman beliefs and kindle hatred. Even the boys at school call Michel a 'wog' (probably 'pied noire' could partly only see the subtitled version without sound) and bash him for this. The really funny parts are very subtle, for instance the school teacher's giving the fostering mother a copy of Camus' 'L'etranger'. Also Depardieu exercising spelling with the boy over a French militarist text on Indochinese war or saluting to the De Gaulle speech on the Algerian crisis (including making the boy salute along). The film also takes a blow at French hypocrisy - i.e. celebrating victory over German in WW2 but hardly ever having a look at all the French collaborators and Vichy France, incl. delivering Jews to the Nazis. May 68 took place in France for good reasons: reacting to a repressive and aggressive climate which started the 'Algerian War' and grudgingly then had to accept the defeat. Gilou sets the unfathomable trust of the boy in his fostering parents in contrast to this and thus shows how relying on simple human relations minus the lies of ideologies and religions can make the world a so much better place.


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