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The Secret of the Grain

Abdellatif Kechiche
La graine et le mulet
France 2007 / 151’

At the port of Sète Mr. Slimani, a tored sixty year old, drags himself towards a shipyard job which 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 scissions and tensions which are easily sparked off and which 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 unreachable dream given his meager, irregular salary which 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 which gradually recompacts around this project which comes to symbolise the means to a better life.

IFF Venice 2007


The story recounts an adventure where the human dimension of the characters becomes the central theme.. I believe that the association between fiction and the portrayal of characters in their natural habitat is primordial. The environment described is the one I belong to. It is a forceful, complexless defence of the right to be different which represents a double challenge for which I believe my outlook on life has prepared me also on an emotional plain.

Abdellatif Kechiche

Abdellatif Kechiche was born in Tunis. Before he started producing films, he had numerous parts as a theater and film actor. In 1994, he was given the leading role in Bezness by Nouri Bouzid. In 2000, he made his debut as a director with the feature film Blame It on Voltaire. In 2003 he won three César Awards for his film Games of Love and Chance.


2000 Wina Woltera / La Faute a Voltaire / Blame It on Voltaire
2003 Unik / L'Esquive / Games of Love and Chance
2007 Sekret ziarna / La Graine et le mullet / The Secret of the Grain

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