Le Grand Voyage
Overview
 
Le Grand Voyage is a 2004
2004 in film
The year 2004 in film involved some significant events. Major releases of sequels took place. It included blockbuster films like Shrek 2, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Passion of the Christ, Meet the Fockers, Blade: Trinity, Spider-Man 2, Alien vs. Predator, Kill Bill Vol...

 film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 written and directed
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

 by Ismaël Ferroukhi
Ismaël Ferroukhi
Ismaël Ferroukhi is a French-Moroccan film director.Ferroukhi was born in Kenitra. He gained exposure with his 1992 short film L'Exposé, which won the Kodak Prize at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival...

. The film portrays the relationship between father and son as both embark on a religious pilgrimage trip by car. It was shown at the 2004 Toronto
2004 Toronto International Film Festival
The 2004 Toronto International Film Festival ran from September 9 through September 18.- Canada First :* CQ2 * I, Claudia * Ill Fated The 2004 Toronto International Film Festival ran from September 9 through September 18.- Canada First :* CQ2 (Seek You Too) (Carole Laure)* I, Claudia (Chris...

 and Venice International Film Festivals.
Réda (Nicolas Cazalé
Nicolas Cazalé
Nicolas Cazalé is a French model and actor who is most noted for his role in the 2004 French film, Le Grand Voyage for which he won a Jury Award for Best Actor at the 2005 Newport International Film Festival...

) is a French-Moroccan teenager due to sit for Baccalauréat
Baccalauréat
The baccalauréat , often known in France colloquially as le bac, is an academic qualification which French and international students take at the end of the lycée . It was introduced by Napoleon I in 1808. It is the main diploma required to pursue university studies...

. When his devout father (played by Mohamed Majd) asks Réda to accompany him on a pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

 to Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

, he reluctantly agrees.
Encyclopedia
Le Grand Voyage is a 2004
2004 in film
The year 2004 in film involved some significant events. Major releases of sequels took place. It included blockbuster films like Shrek 2, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Passion of the Christ, Meet the Fockers, Blade: Trinity, Spider-Man 2, Alien vs. Predator, Kill Bill Vol...

 film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 written and directed
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

 by Ismaël Ferroukhi
Ismaël Ferroukhi
Ismaël Ferroukhi is a French-Moroccan film director.Ferroukhi was born in Kenitra. He gained exposure with his 1992 short film L'Exposé, which won the Kodak Prize at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival...

. The film portrays the relationship between father and son as both embark on a religious pilgrimage trip by car. It was shown at the 2004 Toronto
2004 Toronto International Film Festival
The 2004 Toronto International Film Festival ran from September 9 through September 18.- Canada First :* CQ2 * I, Claudia * Ill Fated The 2004 Toronto International Film Festival ran from September 9 through September 18.- Canada First :* CQ2 (Seek You Too) (Carole Laure)* I, Claudia (Chris...

 and Venice International Film Festivals.

Plot

Réda (Nicolas Cazalé
Nicolas Cazalé
Nicolas Cazalé is a French model and actor who is most noted for his role in the 2004 French film, Le Grand Voyage for which he won a Jury Award for Best Actor at the 2005 Newport International Film Festival...

) is a French-Moroccan teenager due to sit for Baccalauréat
Baccalauréat
The baccalauréat , often known in France colloquially as le bac, is an academic qualification which French and international students take at the end of the lycée . It was introduced by Napoleon I in 1808. It is the main diploma required to pursue university studies...

. When his devout father (played by Mohamed Majd) asks Réda to accompany him on a pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

 to Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

, he reluctantly agrees. However, the father insists that they travel by car
Čar
Čar is a village in the municipality of Bujanovac, Serbia. According to the 2002 census, the town has a population of 296 people.-References:...

. As both embark on a road trip thousands of kilometres away from southern France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, the once-icy father-and-son relationship starts to thaw as both gradually come to know each other. Réda, being the young Frenchman that he is, speaks only in French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 to his father, who is seen speaking only Arabic for the majority of the film. Later, when necessary, the father proves that he in fact speaks impeccable French; his choice to speak only Arabic to his son is therefore purposeful. Ferroukhi is quoted, saying, “It is intentional… he wants to teach his son the language.” Of Réda he says that he, “has lost touch with everything that binds him to his language and culture.” The director uses this language barrier as a vehicle to eventually unite the two. “He tries to reconnect to him…”

Along the way, the two meet several interesting characters. The son learns about Islam and why his father thought it would be preferable to make the pilgrimage by car rather than by aeroplane.

The route taken by the father and son goes from Provence, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 through Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

, Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, and Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 before reaching Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

. According to the Internet Movie Database, the film was actually shot in some of these countries, namely France, Slovenia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Most scenes that were set in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 were shot in Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

. However, some scenes involving the two principal actors were actually shot in Mecca. While the Saudi Arabian government had previously permitted documentary crews to shoot in Mecca, this was the first fiction feature permitted to shoot during the Hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

. The film's director, Ismaël Ferroukhi
Ismaël Ferroukhi
Ismaël Ferroukhi is a French-Moroccan film director.Ferroukhi was born in Kenitra. He gained exposure with his 1992 short film L'Exposé, which won the Kodak Prize at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival...

, said that while shooting in Mecca, "no one looked at the camera; people didn't even seem to see the crew -- they're in another world."

Cast

  • Nicolas Cazalé
    Nicolas Cazalé
    Nicolas Cazalé is a French model and actor who is most noted for his role in the 2004 French film, Le Grand Voyage for which he won a Jury Award for Best Actor at the 2005 Newport International Film Festival...

     – Réda
  • Mohamed Majd – The Father
  • Jacky Nercessian
    Jacky Nercessian
    Jacky Nercessian is a French-Armenian actor. One of his most known roles is Apkar in Mayrig by Henri Verneuil....

     – Mustapha
  • Ghina Ognianova – The old woman
  • Kamel Belghazi – Khalid
  • Atik Mohamed – Le pélerin Ahmad
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