Le Grand Voyage review

The big trip-themed title refers to a grand voyage, indeed: a 3,000-mile road trip undertaken by secular French-Moroccan student, Reda (Nicolas Cazalé) and his devout elderly father (Mohamed Majd). The latter orders his reluctant offspring to drive them from their south of France home to the holy city of Mecca for a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage. Challenging the West’s demonisation of the Islamic faith, award-winning Moroccan writer/director Ismaël Ferroukhi has crafted a cryptic and understated movie in which the focus rests squarely on the strained relationship between the barely communicating male duo. There are few surprises in this convincingly-acted film’s embrace of tolerance and reconciliation, but the climactic scenes shot within the astonishing real-life fervour of Mecca have an unexpected emotional intensity.

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