7.4/10
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39 user 107 critic

The Secret of the Grain (2007)

La graine et le mulet (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 12 December 2007 (France)
In southern France, a Franco-Arabic shipyard worker along with his partner's daughter pursues his dream of opening a restaurant.

Writers:

Abdellatif Kechiche, Ghalya Lacroix (as Ghalia Lacroix)
19 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #527. See more »

Quotes

Salah: You know why he's doing all this?. It's for you, for his children. It's not for himself He couldn't care less. All that's behind us now. We are old now. We try to hang on, bust it a little more. For you. If it was only about us, a few olives and a hunk of bread would be plenty. But when we see you happy and all, that's fantastic for us. We live again. You see? Solitude, exile , humiliation... All that's behind us. We think at least we didn't, we aren't just... We didn't immigrate for nothing.
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Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Flipped (2010) See more »

User Reviews

 
An extraordinarily different film because of its ethnicity and real-time filming
11 April 2008 | by diane-34See all my reviews

Diane and I attended this wonderful film in Fremantle this morning and both of us left the theater at its conclusion realising that we had seen an unusual film from an unusual ethnic angle and that the director and actors had completed a superb work.

I adore our Australian films because many of them explore the mundane drama of quiet ordinary life and this film is no exception even though it is French rather than Australian. I guess Hollywood does not believe viewers are sensitive enough to pay to see domestic drama and that the subject matter must always be "bigger than Ben Hurr" but our movies as well as many European movies have proved that the examination of quiet aspects of everyday life can provide extremely compelling material for contemporary films.

IMDb commentators found it off-putting to watch long film sequences about potty training, marital squabbles and restaurant scenes; however, this is the stuff of myriad similar domestic situations that we are all familiar with. The genius being that the director can make these scenes rich enough to watch. Diane and I both believe he did this admirably as well as providing much to discuss and reflect upon later.

We both found it different and endearing that we were allowed into the lives of people and their situations that would be closed to us without this delightful film. Yes, I used the adjective "delightful"; the scenes of domesticity were enlightening and compellingly endearing because we are inundated with Western examples of the genre but few (such as in this film) of other ethnic examples.

A film that should not be missed!


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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | Arabic | Russian

Release Date:

12 December 2007 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Secret of the Grain See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,850, 28 December 2008

Gross USA:

$86,356

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,776,783
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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