La Graine et le Mulet (The Secret of the Grain) (Couscous)
La Graine et le Mulet (The Secret of the Grain) (Couscous) (2007)

Though it is seldom discussed (or acknowledged) in the West, modern-day France incorporates a substantial number of immigrant communities, with many indigenes from North Africa populating the bucolic regions of southern Gaul. Abdel… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: September 3, 2007
DVD Release Date: July 27, 2010
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Critic Score: 92% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: A complex portrait of an immigrant family, The Secret of the Grain is a sprawling, intimate film with many fine performances.

Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post

Never sagging, it unfolds over 2 1/2 hours. Nothing is overexplained. Indeed, it takes us time to suss out Slimane's various familial relationships.

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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe

The Secret of the Grain takes one man, his children, their spouses and babies, his ex-wife, his girlfriend, her daughter, and his friends and turns it all into a masterpiece about the strange power of food -- to heal, unite, exasperate.

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Annie Wagner
The Stranger (Seattle, WA)

Almost certainly the best movie in SIFF 2008, Abdellatif Kechiche's follow-up to Games of Love & Chance burrows into a tight-knit Tunisian immigrant community in a small port town in the south of France.

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Jonathan F. Richards

Time stretches out to the limits of endurance, Slimane's and ours, and there are moments toward the conclusion of this picture when you will want to scream and throw things at the screen, but it's mesmerizing. When it does end, suddenly, it feels a little

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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

Rather than observing this family, we feel we are part of it, and that draws us in as nothing else can.

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Sean Axmaker
Stream on Demand

The best of the film is expressed between the beats of the plot and the meandering conversations around dinner tables or over drinks on the sidewalk tables of a hotel bar. It's as joyous and genuine a portrait of a community as you'll see in the movies.

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Dan Zak
Washington Post

A ponderous tragedy about put-upon manhood? A verite snoop into cultures that are sexually mingled but publicly uneasy? A pill to be swallowed in the name of serious filmgoing? Maybe all of these.

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Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly

The French-Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche is that rare thing at the movies these days: an intelligent humanist.

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Elisabeth Lequeret
Film Comment Magazine

Kechiche may subscribe to Renoir's "Everyone has his reasons," but here he shoots the action with a nervous tension that's more evocative of Pialat.

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Flixster Audience Score: 76% Flixster User Reviews
Daniel Perry
A very good film that I almost turned off 40 minutes in. I'm very glad I didn't, the ending alone is worth sticking it out for. Aside from the… More
Walter M.
[font=Century Gothic]In "The Secret of the Grain," Slimane Beiji(Habib Boufares) is a 61-year old laid-off dockworker, living with his girlfriend… More
Sheldon Chau
An intimate invitation into the lives of a French-Arab family, THE SECRET OF THE GRAIN is a long and complex drama that reveals multiple aspects of familial… More
John Ballantine
Wonderful depiction of an Arab extended family struggling to get by in the south of France topped by one of the sexiest belly dancing scenes that I have ever… More
Mark Abell
What an incredible experience! A quiet, very dignified man, Slimane (Habib Boufares), a Turkish immigrant to this southern port city in France, pursues his… More
Chris Browning
If you are a fan of intimate and personal family dramas then this is a great and complex portrayal of a modern day family and all the relationships and choices… More