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 »
A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
Adele's life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adele grows, seeks herself, loses herself and ultimately finds herself through love and loss.
A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
Thomas Bo Larsen,
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
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 »
[talking to Slimane about her husband]
Is that a family man ?
Never there for his kid.
See more »
THE SECRET OF THE GRAIN (LA GRAINE ET LE MULET) as written and directed by Abdellatif Kechiche offers the viewer a different version of the importance of family and the need to bond for survival. Kechiche is known for casting his films with unknown actors (or even fist time actors) and while some may view this as self-indulgent exercise in proving that a film can be made without the aid of a talented cast, others will appreciate the fine performances he is able to draw from both unknowns (Habib Boufares) and stars on the rise (Hafsia Herzi).
The story is fairly straightforward (despite the fact that it takes 2 1/2 hours to tell!): in the Southern France port city of Sète, populated with many French-speaking Arab immigrants who eke out a living repairing boats and fishing, lives senior citizen Slimane Beiji (Habib Boufares) and his friends and family - an ex-wife chronically angry about missed alimony payments, an adulterer son, and girlfriend who satisfies him and also has a daughter Rym (Hafsia Herzl) who adores him. Slimane struggles with his job, has his hours cut back severely, and together with his friends who also are suffering economically, bond more strongly. Eventually Slimane comes upon the idea of establishing a restaurant housed in a deserted old ship that he purchases and with the help from his family and his friends (especially supported by Rym) he opens his restaurant that features the fish with couscous recipe of his ex-wife.
The reason this too-long film ultimately satisfies is the completely spontaneous atmosphere created by director Kechiche: the dialogue feels completely improvised, as though we happen to be passing by Sète and overheard a colony of down and out immigrants from North Africa transform their fates. It may take a lot of patience to sit through the first half of the film, but the end result is rewarding.
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