French film wows Saddleback

TALKING FRENCH (Lauren Echels)

Lauren Echols

On Thursday, Sept. 23, the foreign language department hosted a screen of the French film, “Monsieur Ibrahim.” The film, directed by Francois Dupeyron,  was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Film.

Before the film was shown, the guests mingled and enjoyed the delicious refreshments. The crème puffs seemed to be the favorite. There was a couple at the event that spoke French, which gave the room a French ambiance, and they were  excited to see the film.

The film begins in a working-class neighborhood in Paris in the 1960s. The main character, Moise Schmidt ( Momo), is a young Jewish boy growing up without a mother and with a father afflicted by crippling depression. Momo is fascinated by this elderly Turkish Muslim man, Ibrahim Demirci who runs the grocery store across the street from the boy’s apartment.

Their relationship develops and Momo feels closer to Ibrahim than his own father. Ibrahim adopts Momo after his own father leaves him and commits suicide. Momo and Ibrahim go on a journey to Ibrahims homeland in their new car.

On their journey, Momo learns to slow down and savor the world’s beauty through his senses, and to open his heart to the wonders around him.

The climax of their time together is when Ibrahim takes the young boy to witness the whirling dervishes in Istanbul. He explains this form of prayer to Momo.

“When you dance, your heart sings,” said Ibrahim. “They spin around in their hearts, and God is in their hearts.”

Ibrahim also teaches Momo the value of what a smile can do.

This is a movie that will fill you with happiness. It’s a story of interfaith acceptance and understanding during a confusing a  time.

I would recommend this movie, and I would see it again. Everyone will get their own wonderful perspective on the movie.

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