A few weeks before his high
school final exam, Réda, a young man who lives in the south of France,
is chosen to drive his aging father to Mecca for the traditional pilgrimage.
From the start, the journey promises to be difficult, as Réda and
his father have nothing in common. They are separated by culture, language
and religion. Réda is a modern young man who does not speak Arabic
and cares little about his father’s deep sense of religion. Through Italy,
Serbia, Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, Réda and his father
interact minimally and the grandiose settings and often-desolate landscapes
reflect this uneasiness. As their journey progresses, their adventures
and misadventures bring father and son closer, forcing mutual recognition
and reconciliation. In Mecca, where the filmmaker received rare permission
to shoot, Réda’s father disappears in the crowd of pilgrims. In
this road-movie, Ismaël Ferroukhi handles cultural and generational
differences with skill. In the director’s efforts to “stop the clichés
that are carried around about a community that is deeply pacifist and peaceful”.
the film challenges preconceived ideas about Islam.
Written/Directed by Ismaël
Nicolas Cazalé ....
Mohamed Majd ....
Jacky Nercessian ....
Ghina Ognianova ....
La vieille femme
Kamel Belghazi ....
Atik Mohamed ....
Le pélerin Ahmad
Malika Mesrar El Hadaoui
.... La mère
- With English Sub-Titles
RUNNING TIME: 108
Reda and his father belong
to a culture where communication between father and son is difficult, if
not impossible. The gulf between them (generation, culture, language) is
even wider because of their status as “exiles” in France.
I made this film to imagine
this contact that travelling together makes inevitable. Reda and his father
are shut up in a car in a forced cohabitation from which there is no possible
escape, travelling through grandiose settings full of uncertainty and unexpected
events, where they lose their bearings. Thus, they are forced to look at
themselves, gradually shedding their roles as father and son and growing
closer as their journey proceeds.
Their conversation is
reduced to the strict minimum, but it is through their silences that Reda
and his father communicate the most. In the course of their journey and
the people they meet, they come to understand what separates them but also
what brings them together.
Le Grand Voyage dramatizes
how Reda and his father move from a relationship of indifference and hostility
to one of mutual recognition and reconciliation.