Archive of films The Big Journey / Le grand voyage

France / Morocco
2004, 105 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2005

Young Réda was born in France, and his obligation to convey his traditionalist Moroccan father by car to Mecca is initially a journey from hell. Father and son, however, gradually grow closer during the long trip.



Réda would like to be a normal young French boy like his contemporaries, but his old father, who emigrated to France from Morocco long before, clings to his religion and traditions. Not surprisingly, there has been tension between them for years. When his older brother gets drunk and loses his driving licence, Réda has to drive his father to Mecca, since the old man couldn’t manage the long journey by himself. For these two modern pilgrims, the trip from France across Italy and the territories of former Yugoslavia is full of unexpected encounters and serious mutual conflicts. The traditionalist father eradicates every attempt on the son’s part to change the journey into a “normal” tourist excursion. He throws away his mobile phone, the young man’s only link with the girl he loves, and gradually draws him into his own world. The return to the land of his ancestors, in whose god he no longer believes, becomes a voyage to find his own roots and to reawaken filial love, which he had long since senselessly discarded from his life.

About the director

Ismaël Ferroukhi (b. 1962, Kenitra, Morocco) made the short film L’exposé in 1992, for which he received the Kodak Short Film Award at the Cannes IFF in 1993. He co-wrote the scripts for the television films Too Much Happiness (Trop de bonheur, 1994), Zero Guilt (Culpabilité zéro, 1996) and Un été hirondelles (1997). As a director, he made the short television film L’inconnu (1996), part of the Court-toujours triptych produced by Canal Plus/Arte. He also created the television films Akim (1997) and Petit Ben (2000). The Big Journey (Le grand voyage, 2004) is the feature directing debut of a filmmaker who, together with producer Humbert Balsan, won the Luigi De Laurentiis Award at the Venice IFF in 2004.

We are screening the film as a tribute to producer Humbert Balsan who died unexpectedly at the beginning of 2005. 


Pyramide International
5, rue du Chevalier de Saint-George, 750 08, Paris
Tel: +33 142 960 220
Fax: +33 140 200 551

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Another View
Director: Ismaël Ferroukhi
Screenplay: Ismaël Ferroukhi
Dir. of Photography: Katell Djian
Music: Fowzi Guerdjou
Editor: Tina Baz
Producer: Humbert Balsan
Production: Ognon Pictures, koprodukce/coproduction: Arte France Cinema, Soread 2M
Cast: Nicolas Cazale, Mohamed Majd, Jacky Nercessian, Ghina Ogianova, Kamel Belghazi
Contact: Pyramide International

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