7.4/10
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The Secret of the Grain (2007)

La graine et le mulet (original title)
Unrated | | Drama | 12 December 2007 (France)
At the port of Sète, Mr. Slimani, a tired 60-year-old, drags himself toward a shipyard job that has become more and more difficult to cope with as the years go by. He is a divorced father ... See full summary »

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19 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Habib Boufares ...
Slimane Beiji
...
Rym
Farida Benkhetache ...
Karima
Abdelhamid Aktouche ...
Hamid
...
Julia
Bouraouïa Marzouk ...
Souad
Cyril Favre ...
Serguei
Leila D'Issernio ...
Lilia
Abelkader Djeloulli ...
Kader
Bruno Lochet ...
Mario
...
José
Sami Zitouni ...
Majid
...
Olfa
Mohamed Benabdeslem ...
Riadh
Hatika Karaoui ...
Latifa
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Storyline

At the port of Sète, Mr. Slimani, a tired 60-year-old, drags himself toward a shipyard job that has become more and more difficult to cope with as the years go by. He is a divorced father who forces himself to stay close to his family despite the schisms and tensions that are easily sparked off and that financial difficulties make even more intense. He is going through a delicate period in his life and, recently, everything seems to make him feel useless: a failure. He wants to escape from it all and set up his own restaurant. However, it appears to be an unreachable dream given his meager, irregular salary that is not anywhere near enough to supply what he needs to realize his ambition. But he can still dream and talk about it with his family in particular. A family that gradually gives its support to this project, which comes to symbolize the means to a better life. Thanks to its ingeniousness and hard work, this dream soon becomes a reality...or almost.... Written by Venice Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It takes will, courage and determination to realise a dream. But most of all it takes family See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

12 December 2007 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Secret of the Grain  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$9,864 (USA) (2 January 2009)

Gross:

$86,356 (USA) (27 February 2009)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shooting was supposed to start in the summer of 2005 but one of the leading actors was sick, which resulted in a major delay. Thus, filming actually started on 5 September 2005 and was still running by 16 January 2006. The set was on a boat in the port of Sète for at least six weeks from October to December 2006. Outside temperatures were very low, as opposed to what they should have been if schedule could have been held. This led the production to set up large tents near the boat with heating systems for the actors and extras to remain comfortable between takes. See more »

Quotes

Julia: [talking to Slimane about her husband] Is that a family man ?
Serguei: Never there for his kid.
See more »

Connections

References Finding Nemo (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A major movie of our times
22 December 2007 | by (Paris) – See all my reviews

Abdellatif Kechiche did very well with his previous movie "L'Esquive". But here we have even better. The story is simple : I'd say it is mostly about dignity, sacrifice and family love. The acting is brilliant. Habib Boufares is perfect, the young Hafsia Herzi is astounding, especially for the end of the movie. The actors are mostly non-professional people but the script is very well written and the characters are well defined, so this "amateurism" does great and helps the audience's immersion. The cinematography is very special (but never disturbing), with a lot of very close close-ups. The camera is "natural" as with Casavettes, but not "drunk", it is not a pain to watch and you don't get sea sick. The whole movie reminded me the Italian neo-realism and also a little of Renoir. Some people mention Pialat. It's a quite long movie but you don't feel it while watching, you just realize it after.


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