New Internationalist

Le Grand Voyage

October 2005

written and directed by Ismaël Ferroukhi

Reda and his father are driving to Mecca. The father, a Moroccan settled in France, is solemnly making the haj before he’s too old. Reda is irreligious, and resents his father’s demands – not least because he’s had to miss his college finals. Reda has little in the way of compensation. He desperately misses his girlfriend, but his father – we never learn his name – throws away his mobile phone. Neither will his father allow stops in the cities en route – they aren’t tourists, he says. Neither understands the other, and they have little to say.

But they have a lot to learn and Le Grand Voyage is about the travellers’ internal journeys – like any good road movie. Reda comes to respect his father’s intuitive understanding of people and situations, and, after they meet groups of pilgrims, Islam as mutually inclusive and caring. The father in turn sees that Reda is a good, well-meaning person.

Director Ferroukhi’s real concern – the distance between first-generation migrants and their assimilated children – is ambitious and serious. Yet in the end, he cops out. The final scenes are superbly shot and acted but, though emotionally charged, they neither offer resolution nor raise interesting questions – and leave his theme stone dead.

Malcome Lewis

This column was published in the October 2005 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

Never miss another story! Get our FREE fortnightly eNews

Comments on Le Grand Voyage

Leave your comment


  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

Le Grand Voyage Fact File
Product information 108 min
Star rating4

Get our free fortnightly eNews


Videos from visionOntv’s globalviews channel.

Related articles

Recently in Film

All Film

Popular tags

All tags

This article was originally published in issue 383

New Internationalist Magazine issue 383
Issue 383

More articles from this issue

  • The language of the Necons

    October 1, 2005

  • The Sun

    October 1, 2005

    The Sun directed by Alexander Sokurov

  • Seneca

    October 1, 2005

    " How long shall we weary heaven with petitions for superfluous luxuries, as though we had not at hand wherewithal to feed ourselves? How long shall we fill our plains with huge cities? How long shall the people slave for us unnecessarily? How long shall countless ships from every sea bring us provisions for the consumption of a single mouth?”

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.