Language: English, French, Tamil
Running Time: 114min
Film Year: 2015
Category: Knight Competition
Nine months after its prestigious Palme d’Or win at Cannes, Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan has become only more relevant, with the current stress of unprecedented human migration having rapidly become one of the most urgent issues of our time.
Dheepan brings us straight to the heart behind the headlines. Desperate to escape the dire aftermath of Sri Lanka’s devastating quarter-century of civil war, Tamil refugees “Dheepan” (an assumed name), Yalini and young Illayaal manipulate aid workers in order to get themselves to France, where they are set up with menial service jobs in a low-rent housing complex that has a high degree of drug and gang activity. The unemployed young French machos that rule the roost are generally hostile to the Tamils, exacerbating the arduousness of their attempt to start a new life in a strange, unfamiliar culture. Dheepan—a former soldier and no stranger to violence—is quick to understand how he must respond to this antagonism.
Audiard (A Prophet, Rust and Bone) possesses a mastery of cinematic storytelling that has only sharpened with each new film. Dheepan bristles with surprise, emotion and intensity. Its antagonists are as infused with as much complexity as its heroes, and the extraordinary cinematography by Eponine Momenceau adds to the operatic summation that is Audiard’s signature style. – Jaie Laplante
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Director: Jacques Audiard
Producer: Pascal Caucheteux, Jacques Audiard
Screenwriter: Jacques Audiard, Noé Debré, Thomas Bidegain
Music: Nicolas Jaar, Frédéric Junqua
Cinematographer: Éponine Momenceau
Editor: Juliette Welfling