6.1/10
959
6 user 12 critic

Café au lait (1993)

Métisse (original title)
Lola is pregnant. But she does not know who the father is : Jamal, the black muslim, son of diplomats, or Felix, the pennyless jewish messenger. Jamal and Felix meet at Lola's, and the race... See full summary »

Director:

Mathieu Kassovitz
Reviews
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julie Mauduech Julie Mauduech ... Lola
Hubert Koundé ... Jamal Saddam Abossolo M'bo
Mathieu Kassovitz ... Felix
Vincent Cassel ... Max
Tadek Lokcinski Tadek Lokcinski ... Felix's grandfather
Jany Holt ... Felix's grandmother
Rywka Wajsbrot Rywka Wajsbrot ... Felix's aunt
Héloïse Rauth Héloïse Rauth ... Sarah
Marc Berman Marc Berman ... Maurice
Andrée Damant ... Maurice's mother
Berthe Bagoe Berthe Bagoe ... Lola's grandmother
Jean-Pierre Cassel ... Gynecologist
Félicité Wouassi Félicité Wouassi ... Nurse
Brigitte Bémol ... Jamal's girlfriend
Lydia Ewandé Lydia Ewandé ... Marilyne
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Storyline

Lola is pregnant. But she does not know who the father is : Jamal, the black muslim, son of diplomats, or Felix, the pennyless jewish messenger. Jamal and Felix meet at Lola's, and the race begins. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France | Belgium

Language:

French

Release Date:

December 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Café au lait See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$315,420
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Finnish censorship visa # 99675 delivered on 4-3-1996. See more »

Connections

References Sesame Street (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Booming Atak
Music and Performed by Assassin
See more »

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User Reviews

A brilliant and captivating explosion of racial and cultural stereotypes
21 October 2007 | by peetwiSee all my reviews

I've never posted anything on the IMDb site, but the ridiculous comment/review of the other poster proved to be too much to resist. First off, the word "Metisse" is used, in French, to describe a mix of races. The closest translation we have to it is "Melting pot," IE a melting pot of culture. So, my good sir, 0/10 for accuracy.

Be forewarned, the movie is French, and portrays itself as thus. Our country, being fundamentally Christian and isolated by two giant oceans from the rest of the world, is quite a bit out of touch with how things are addressed and dealt with. The only formidable foreign presence we have in the States comes from Latin America. Because so many of them immigrate here illegally and come without money, it is quite easy to dismiss them as a second-rate people. This is to say that we don't have to think about them, their beliefs, and their cultural tendencies with any degree of equality quite simply because they "don't belong here" (not my belief, but that of the general populace).

The rest of the world, Europe specifically, falls outside of this situation. Especially now with such an inarguably formidable foreign population, one simply cannot "ignore" them like we do here. Considering they are there legally, have won their way, more or less, into the economic "game," and were actually invited by the European countries to immigrate, you simply can't dismiss them as "beaners."

OK, this background information goes to define the situation, and to explain the fact that racial/religious differences are much more prevalent outside of the states. Thus, racial/religious disputes tend to be much more volatile and, well, much more honest. The over saturation of political correctness in the States basically translates into the fact that no one can ever say what they really think/feel, for fear of being called racist or a bigot. Call it a cultural difference, but in terms of establishing compromises, the rest of the world has it right.

OK, so go into this movie expecting it to be a bit more intense than your average American flick. The story is charming, as are the characters. The movie tries to explode racial and religious stereotypes, which it does very well. You have the sophisticated, learned character who happens to be black and Muslim. You have the poor, "ghetto-ish" type character who is white and Jewish. Finally, you have Christian girl placed somewhere in between. She's from Martinique, rendering her skin color dark, but still much lighter than Jamal's (black guy).

Starting to see a pattern? The script, while racially provocative, is brilliantly written, as are the subtleties present throughout the duration of the movie. The monologue at the very end, orated by a french conservative fundamentalist named Le Pen, is the brilliant final stroke that finishes the captivating honesty of the film. ' I reckon that if you can't sit through this film because of the racial and religious slurs, then maybe it's because it's touching on a bit of a sensitive spot, and maybe you're afraid of what great literature/movies do: Force you to rethink your convictions and your cultural beliefs. Watch this film. You wont' be disappointed.


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