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by Abdellatif Kechiche


At the port of Sète Mr. Slimani, a tired 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 an unreachable dream given his meagre, irregular salary which is not anywhere near enough to supply what he needs to realise 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. Thanks to their ingeniousness and hard work this dream soon becomes a reality... Or almost...

international title: The Secret of the Grain
original title: La graine et le mulet
country: France
sales agent: Pathé International
year: 2006
genre: fiction
directed by: Abdellatif Kechiche
release date: BE 12/12/2007, FR 12/12/2007, IT 11/01/2008, NL 17/04/2008, GB 20/06/2008, DE 04/09/2008, ES 30/01/2009
screenplay: Abdellatif Kechiche
cast: Habib Boufares, Hafsia Herzi, Sabrina Ouazani, Leïla D'Issernio, Mélèze Bouzid, Rosalie Symon, Bruno Lochet, Mohamed Ben Abdeslem, Olivier Loustau
cinematography by: Lubomir Bakchev
film editing: Ghalia Lacroix
art director: Benoît Barouh
costumes designer: Maria Beloso
producer: Claude Berri, Pierre Grunstein
production: Pathé Films, Hirsch, TF1 Films Production
backing: Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC)
distributor: Pathé Distribution, Lucky Red (IT), Artificial Eye (UK), Cinéart (NL), Arsenal Filmverleih (DE), Vértigo Films (ES)


main awards/selection

European Film Awards 2008 European Film Academy Critic's Award
César 2008 Best Film
Best Director
Best Original Screenplay
Best Female Newcomer (Hafsia Herzi)
Venice 2007 Official Competition
Special Jury Prize

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