Hakim and Latifa fled the Algerian civil war in the early 90s. They live since in the Jura, with their two daughters: Nedjma 14 years, and Leila, the eldest, left to study hair in Paris. ...
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Hakim and Latifa fled the Algerian civil war in the early 90s. They live since in the Jura, with their two daughters: Nedjma 14 years, and Leila, the eldest, left to study hair in Paris. Three days before Christmas, Nedjma receives a terse SMS from her older sister. She will not be able to come to join them for the holidays, pretexting once more an overload of work - Latifa attacks Hakim and pushes him to fetch Leïla. Nedjma will come with him, they will take the opportunity to discover Paris. Upon their arrival in the hair salon, they learn that Leila has actually never worked. It is the journey of a father who begins in Paris one night until dawn.Written by
Hugo Van Herpe
This novel by Bernard Clavel ,"le voyage du Pére " had already been tranferred to the screen in 1966 , keeping its title and starring Fernandel ;father also lived in Jura mountains and set off for a desperate journey to Lyon to find his daughter ;Denys De La Patellière's movie got unanimous thumbs down ; still ,it would be interesting to watch it again now ;the problem in the sixties was that kind of movie was old-fashioned.
However, thirteen years later ,Paul Schrader showed puritan George C Scott in search of his daughter lost in snuff-movies .("Hardcore" )
And half a century later , Hakim , an algerian refugee ,accompanied by his youngest daughter Nedjna ,goes to Paris ,because his daughter,Leila ,who's supposed to study hairdressing there and who was to come to visit her family for Xmas won' t join them because of her work.
Director Laura BISPURI updated the screenplay ,although violence is kept to economical levels (only one scene).She concentrates the action in 24 hours : the arrival in Paris, in the daylight ,where the young daughter marvels at the capital where she had never been before;the rapport she has with her father is deeply moving ;and although she won't be part of the night search , the way she abets him ,never reproaching him anything, even in the final harrowing moments ,is admirable.Both actors have to be praised :Roschdy Zem , lost in the dark sides of Paris, following step by step her daughter's descent into hell,gives a restrained and all the more poignant performance;Natacha Krief , pretending to have a happy Xmas , represents the lost of innocence ,but also the youth's hope against hope.
In the first version, the young daughter was not featured ; Laura Bispuri was right to support her male character ; the scene in the railway station would be pessimistic to a fault if Nedjna did not stand by her dad.
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