Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The secret of the grain/La graine et le mulet

La graine et le mulet is not an easy film to watch. Not easy because you come to understand how far we have gone from being real people and to watch a real family with real people struggle against bureaucracy, life, relationships, depression, immigration, irresponsible family members and the complications of everyday lives is quite confronting. It is a very clever film because it is  its naturalism and attention to the details of living which make it both brilliant and difficult to watch. It is relentless but it really gets through to you. Slimane, the father, has a face which doesn't move and it is hard to watch it but your sympathy and empthy increase for him until you feel his pain and his struggle. His family , except one son, all want to help him realise his dream. The film is a poignant journey and as you are watching it your level of attention and awareness increase. Attention to the complications of modern living and modern families. Awareness of how tough we can be and yet how vulnerable.In the beginning you think you are watching an older man who  has given 35 years of good service be done over and then the film twists and turns into  so much more. It is very frank, very open and very honest and each actor gives so much to the film and so it is easy to understand why The Secret of the Grain  has won so many awards.Hafsia Herzi   becomes extraordinary in the film. Her attractive personality becomes magnetic. Abdel Kechiche , the director ,has brought some very powerful messages to us through this film and they are there for us to hear or ignore. Not easy, but well worth the watch.

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