7.4/10
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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.

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19 wins & 7 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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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:

$9,864, 2 January 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$86,356, 1 March 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Julia: [talking to Slimane about her husband] Is that a family man ?
Serguei: Never there for his kid.
See more »

Connections

References Finding Nemo (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
It could have been an excellent movie
9 March 2008 | by andre-blecha-1See all my reviews

Something unusual happened at the end of this movie projection. Several people not knowing each other gathered at the cinema exit and discussed the movie. It appeared that the movie was spoiled by several cinematographic tics which the director promoted to the status of the style and used all over the movie "ad nausea". He extends the lengthy sequences probably to make us share the uneasiness of the characters in the given situation (the mother scolding the child for weeing in her panties, the guests waiting for the cous-cous, the final run of Slimane and the belly dance). But this is a 0-level translation of the reality into the cinematographic language. The profusion of the very close-ups and the clip-like filming with very short shots is a minor default. It is probably one of the points which makes some people like the movie as "modern". The movie is almost twice as long as usual and I can not find any cinematographic reason to make it this long, if not just the desire to convince the spectator (and jury) that this movie has something exceptional. We spent some good moments but we hope that this gifted director will not be encouraged to belaborates more in his future creations.


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