Archive of films Grigris / Grigris

Chad / France
2013, 101 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2013

Young Grigris may have a paralyzed leg but his dance skills wow bar patrons. When his takings from performing aren’t enough to pay for his stepfather’s hospital bills, the protagonist gets involved with the local underworld and things nearly reach a critical point. A likable film by a Chadian filmmaker that earned the appreciation of audiences at this year’s Cannes festival.


Grigris has a paralyzed leg, but thanks to an iron will, his dance performances earn him enthusiastic accolades from the patrons of a local bar. When his stepfather ends up in the hospital and the earnings from his dance performances are no longer enough, Grigris tries to get money any way he can – all the more so because he has fallen in love. It doesn’t matter that his chosen one doesn’t exactly have the best reputation; the important thing is that she tries with all her might to help him out of a dangerous situation. The main character is played by a real handicapped dancer whom director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun discovered in his native Chad. Haroun is well known to festival audiences in Karlovy Vary, which has shown nearly all of his films (most recently 2010’s A Screaming Man); and although he left Cannes without any awards, his film was well-received by audiences. This story of a naïve young man grabs hold of the viewer not so much through its plot as through its subtle humor and the director’s exploration of the differences between life in Africa’s cities and its villages. The unexpected twist at the conclusion of this escalating drama was met with spontaneous applause from the audience.

About the director

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (b. 1961, Abéché, Chad) studied film in Paris and journalism in Bordeaux. He started out as a reporter for regional magazines and as the programming director for an independent radio station. His first short film, Maral Tanié, was shot in 1994. His feature-length debut Bye-Bye Africa earned the Best First Film Award at the 1999 Venice IFF. His subsequent writer-director film Our Father (Abouna, notre père, 2002) was shown in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes. Karlovy Vary audiences have had the chance to see his other films as well: the revenge drama Dry Season (Daratt, 2006 – Special Jury Prize at the 2006 Venice IFF) and the story of an aging lifeguard, A Screaming Man (Un homme qui crie, 2010 – Jury Prize at the 2010 Cannes festival). Haroun also makes short films and documentaries.


Les Films du Losange
22, Avenue Pierre ler de Serbie, 750 16, Paris
Tel: +33 144 438 724

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Horizons
Director: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
Screenplay: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
Dir. of Photography: Antoine Heberle
Music: Wasis Diop
Editor: Marie-Hélène Dozo
Producer: Florence Stern
Production: Pili Films
Cast: Souleymane Démé, Anaïs Monory, Cyril Gueï
Contact: Les Films du Losange


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