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The Great Journey (2004)

Le grand voyage (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 24 November 2004 (France)
Reda, a young French-Moroccan guy and his old father drive from the south of France to Mecca in order for the father to do his pilgrimage. At first distant, they gradually learn to know each other.

Director:

Ismaël Ferroukhi
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicolas Cazalé ... Reda
Mohamed Majd Mohamed Majd ... The Father
Jacky Nercessian ... Mustapha
Ghina Ognianova Ghina Ognianova ... La vieille femme
Kamel Belghazi Kamel Belghazi ... Khalid
Atik Mohamed Atik Mohamed ... Le pélerin Ahmad
Malika Mesrar El Hadaoui Malika Mesrar El Hadaoui ... La mère
François Baroni François Baroni ... Le douanier italien
Krassi Kpacu Krassi Kpacu ... Le douanier serbe
Kirill Kavadarkov Kirill Kavadarkov ... Le barman yougoslave
Blajo Wymenski Blajo Wymenski ... L'homme du change
Diyan Machev Diyan Machev ... L'homme bavard (as Dean Matchev)
Erol Atac Erol Atac ... Douanier turc 1 (as Erol Ataç)
Sadik Deveci Sadik Deveci ... Douanier turc 2
Nihat Nikerel Nihat Nikerel ... Chef policier turc
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Storyline

Reda, summoned to accompany his father on a pilgrimage to Mecca, complies reluctantly - as he preparing for his baccalaureat and, even more important, has a secret love relationship. The trip across Europe in a broken-down car is also the departure of his father: upon arrival in Mecca, both Reda and his father are not the characters they were at the start of the movie. Avoiding the hackneyed theme of the return to the homeland, the film uses the departure to renew a connection between two generation. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A voyage beyond corporal life

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Morocco | Bulgaria | Turkey

Release Date:

24 November 2004 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Great Journey See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Reda: Where is my cell-phone?
The Father: It's in a garbage can 200 miles away.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Humbert Balsan, producteur rebelle (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: Le Grand Voyage
20 January 2006 | by DICK STEELSee all my reviews

You'd think you're in for some serious sightseeing when the premise of the movie takes place primarily between two characters as they travel 3000 miles or so from France to Saudi Arabia, going through most of Europe - Italy, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey, before arriving in the Middle East. But this is not a tour, and there are no stopovers for soaking in the sights.

Reda's father is in his twilight years, and wishes to do the Haj. However, since walking and taking the mule is out of the question, he chooses to travel to Mecca by car. He can't drive, and therefore enlists the help of Reda, to his son's protest, to get him there in their broken down vehicle.

But Reda doesn't see the point of having him go along, when his dad could opt for the plane. He resents the idea of having put his personal life on hold for this pilgrimage he couldn't understand. And hence, we set off in this arduous journey with father and son, being not the best of pals.

The beauty of this movie is to witness the development of the father and son pair, the challenges they face, the weird people they meet, having to duke it out in varied weather conditions, and alternating rest stops between motels and sleeping in the car. We see an obvious generation gap in them trying to communicate to each other, the father trying to impose on his son, and the son trying to assert himself as an adult, but circumstances we see, reveal that Reda is quite a fish out of water. Through the many encounters, they actually team up quite well despite their differences.

It's perhaps quite apt to have this film released here last week to coincide with Hari Raya Haji, and having the opportunity to watch our protagonists join the other pilgrims in their Haj. The final scene in Mecca is truly a sight to behold, and you too would feel the claustrophobia and fear as Reda tries to hunt down his dad amongst the thousands of people congregating. The sights of Europe were perhaps deliberately not dwelled upon, so as to build up the anticipation of and focus on the final destination.

It certainly rang home the thought of telling and showing loved ones how much you appreciate them for who they are. Don't miss this, and yes, book early - I was pleasantly surprised that this evening's session was still a full house.


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