Cert: 15 Year: 2015 Length: 115 mins Language: Tamil/French
Cinema Handout (PDF 87KB)
Score: 74.65% Attendance: 87
As we come to terms with the Brexit vote, let's not forget the many millions who are desperate to live in Europe. 'Dheepan' is one of those; escaping from the battles of the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, he co-opts Yalini and Illayaal to play his wife and child, to give them all a better chance of getting asylum in France. There, they are forced to continue as a 'family', now taking on the new battle of survival in a country where they don't speak the language and finding a home and a job puts them amongst the most desperate. Dheepan starts out selling trinkets on the street before becoming the caretaker of the apartment block where they live, a block where drug sellers and gang violence rule, and he is forced to try to protect his new family, and the families around him the best he can.
Director Jacques Audiard has already had much success with films about people in desperate situations ('A Prophet' and 'Rust and Bone') but this one has finally won him the Palme D'Or at Cannes Film Festival. The critics are equally praising of the lead actor Jesuthasan Antonythasan (an ex-Tamil Tiger, this is his first role); David Fear, Rolling Stone thinks he has "a compelling, can't-take-your-eyes-off-him screen presence".
This should be a film to remember: as David Calhoun says in Time Out, "The very final scene, especially, should keep audiences talking long after they leave the cinema".
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