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Dheepan (2015)

R | | Crime, Drama | 13 May 2016 (USA)
Dheepan is a Sri Lankan Tamil warrior who flees to France and ends up working as a caretaker outside Paris.



(dialogue), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 6 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Faouzi Bensaïdi ...
Monsieur Habib
Bass Dhem ...
Franck Falise ...
Le gardien du Hall C
Joséphine de Meaux ...
La directrice de l'école
Le juriste au foyer
Nathan Anthonypillai ...
Vasanth Selvam ...
Colonel Cheran
Kartik Krishnan ...
Le faussaire au Sri Lanka
Rudhra ...
La femme du camp de réfugié
Tassadit Mandi ...
La dame dans l'escalier


Dheepan is a Tamil freedom fighter, a Tiger. In Sri Lanka, the Civil War is reaching its end, and defeat is near. Dheepan decides to flee, taking with him two strangers - a woman and a little girl - hoping that they will make it easier for him to claim asylum in Europe. Arriving in Paris, the 'family' moves from one temporary home to another until Dheepan finds work as the caretaker of a run-down housing block in the suburbs. He works to build a new life and a real home for his 'wife' and his 'daughter', but the daily violence he confronts quickly reopens his war wounds, and Dheepan is forced to reconnect with his warrior's instincts to protect the people he hopes will become his true family. Written by Polly_Kat

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When the war continues to rage in your heart and mind.


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and brief sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

13 May 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Erran  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$20,249 (USA) (6 May 2016)


$247,597 (USA) (29 July 2016)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The first feature film of cinematographer Éponine Momenceau and composer Nicolas Jaar. See more »


Dheepan: Trouble isn't in my interest.
See more »


Referenced in Paris 05:59: Théo & Hugo (2016) See more »


Nila Athu Vanathu Mele
Composed by Ilaiyaraaja (as The Maestro Ilaiyaraaja)
© & (p) Ilaiyaraaja Music n Management Pvt Ltd. India
See more »

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User Reviews

Family of Strangers
27 March 2016 | by (Miami) – See all my reviews

From the ashes of the Sri Lankan war a trio of strangers forms a family. It is an act. It is a passport across borders that none of them could get by as easily on their own. They are all orphans; man, woman and girl. Each of them has lost everything and everyone. Selling trinkets on the streets, learning new languages, understanding foreign cultures, realizing the ropes in a crime ridden housing project and avoiding warring factions are only some of the hoops they must jump through in their new home in order to survive. Adjusting to a new world is difficult, yet a greater metamorphosis is required inside each person. To make things work each must believe in the fiction of the family. Fluid identities must be embraced.

The toughest thing is learning to live with each other. For each adult it is like having two kids to deal with; teenager and spouse are equally petulant. It is not merely the practical things that are needed to survive, it is learning from each other, talking, having a sense of humor, kindness and love. In this sense, this family of strangers could be any in the world. We all could believe in this "fiction."

There were times during the film, for instance a character flashback and close-up of an elephant on the verge of charging, where I felt a rush of emotion. It was such a change of tempo in sound, plot and vision, and so magical even as brief as it was, that it was like an electrical current surging along my spine. I wish there were more such flashbacks, but that might have taken from the charm. The plot of the story, a migration from a war-torn land and individuals reconstructing their lives as well as their identities, is timely and portent. The only addition for a perfect film; more believable acting. Winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes. Seen at the 2016 Miami International Film Festival.

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