LE GRAND VOYAGE – Die weite Reise

Ismaël Ferroukhi
France, Morocco 2004 | 108 Min. | 35 mm, OmU

Short­ly before taking his ‘A’ levels Reda has to leave Provence in order to take his father by car to Mecca. In the enclosed space of the car there is no escape: father and son are forced to talk to one anoth­er – not an easy task at all. Reda, born in France, under­stands Arabic but cannot speak it and he is not big on reli­gion or tra­di­tion. His father, born in Moroc­co, on the other hand under­stands French with­out being able to speak it; he rejects mobile phones and any closer con­tact with the West­ern world. During the 5,000 kilo­me­tre pil­grim­age, with chance encoun­ters, father and son get to know each other better and dis­cov­er what sep­a­rates them but also, and most impor­tant­ly, what in spite of every­thing, con­nects them. 

A road movie that cap­tures in poetic imagery the broad land­scapes and towns of Italy, Slo­va­kia, Croa­t­ia, Serbia, Bul­gar­ia, Turkey, Syria, Israel and final­ly Saudi Arabia. Last but not least, it’s lead­ing actor Nico­las Cazalé gives an impres­sion performance.