Le Grand Voyage Review

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Reda, a young French muslim, reluctantly embarks on a pilgrimage to Mecca with his ailing Morrocan father.


Anyone seeking an insight into the spiritual potency and cultural purport of Islam will be all the wiser for debutant Ismaël Ferroukhi’s genial generation-gap road movie.

Appalled by the prospect of being dragged away from his cosy French lifestyle to accompany his ailing Moroccan father (Mohamed Majd) on a pilgrimage to Mecca, Nicolas Cazalé slowly comes to appreciate the depth and consolation of his dad’s faith as they endure squabbles, silences and all manner of misadventure. The introduction of a dubious hitchhiking Turk (Jacky Nercessian) seems a touch calculating, while Cazalé’s Saudi experience is a little too obvious. But the discussion of Muslim communalism within a fragmenting Europe and the intensity of their belief in an otherwise secular world is enlightening.

Although slightly predictable, this is also at times touching and often insightful.