The Great Journey (2004)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama, Romance

The Great Journey (2004) Poster

Reda, a young French-Moroccan guy and his old father drive from the south of France to Mecca in order for the father to do his pilgrimage. At first distant, they gradually learn to know each other.

Add this title to your Watchlist
Save movies and shows to keep track of what you want to watch.



See all photos

More of What You Love

Find what you're looking for even quicker with the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast


Ismaël Ferroukhi


Ismaël Ferroukhi

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review

User Reviews

1 September 2008 | gradyharp
| Insha'Allah: The Durability of a Father/Son Relationship
LE GRAND VOYAGE is a gentle miracle of a film, a work made more profound because of its understated script by writer/director Ismaël Ferroukhi who allows the natural scenery of this 'road trip' story and the sophisticated acting of the stars Nicolas Cazalé and Mohamed Majd to carry the emotional impact of the film. Ferroukhi's vision is very capably enhanced by the cinematography of Katell Djian (a sensitive mixture of travelogue vistas of horizons and tightly photographed duets between characters) and the musical score by Fowzi Guerdjou who manages to maintain some beautiful themes throughout the film while paying homage to the many local musical variations from the numerous countries the film surveys.

Reda (Nicolas Cazalé) lives with his Muslim family in Southern France, a young student with a Western girlfriend who does not seem to be following the religious direction of his heritage. His elderly father (Mohamed Majd) has decided his time has come to make his Hadj to Mecca, and being unable to drive, requests the reluctant Reda to forsake his personal needs to drive him to his ultimate religious obligation. The two set out in a fragile automobile to travel through France, into Italy, and on through Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, and Turkey to Saudi Arabia. Along the trip Reda pleads with his father to visit some of the interesting sights, but his father remains focused on the purpose of the journey and Reda is irritably left to struggle with his father's demands. On their pilgrimage they encounter an old woman (Ghina Ognianova) who attaches herself to the two men and must eventually be deserted by Reda, a Turkish man Mustapha (Jacky Nercessian) who promises to guide the father/son duo but instead brings about a schism by getting Reda drunk in a bar and disappearing, and countless border patrol guards and custom agents who delay their progress for various reasons. Tensions between father and son mount: Reda cannot understand the importance of this pilgrimage so fraught with trials and mishaps, and the father cannot comprehend Reda's insensitivity to the father's religious beliefs and needs. At last they reach Mecca where they are surrounded by hoards of pilgrims from all around the world and the sensation of trip's significance is overwhelming to Reda. The manner in which the story comes to a close is touching and rich with meaning. It has taken a religious pilgrimage to restore the gap between youth and old age, between son and father, and between defiance and acceptance of religious values.

The visual impact of this film is extraordinary - all the more so because it feels as though the camera just 'happens' to catch the beauty of the many stopping points along the way without the need to enhance them with special effects. Nicolas Cazalé is a superb actor (be sure to see his most recent and currently showing film 'The Grocer's Son') and it is his carefully nuanced role that brings the magic to this film. Another fine film from The Film Movement, this is a tender story brilliantly told. Highly recommended.

Grady Harp

Critic Reviews

More Like This

  • Wo zhe yang guo le yi sheng

    Wo zhe yang guo le yi sheng

  • Ne me quitte pas

    Ne me quitte pas

  • The Constant Factor

    The Constant Factor

  • Recollections of the Yellow House

    Recollections of the Yellow House

  • Pirosmani


  • La boca del lobo

    La boca del lobo

  • Journey to Mecca

    Journey to Mecca

  • The Buffalo Boy

    The Buffalo Boy

  • Les bons débarras

    Les bons débarras

  • La casa del ángel

    La casa del ángel

  • I Was Nineteen

    I Was Nineteen

  • Le Grand Voyage

    Le Grand Voyage


Plot Summary


Drama | Romance

Why Jeanine Mason Really Relates to "Lizzie McGuire"

Get to know the "Roswell, New Mexico" star as she takes our "Take 5" challenge and shares her favorite dance movie, dream role, and more.

Watch our interview

Featured on IMDb

Check out our guide to the Academy Awards, our coverage of the 2019 awards season, and more.

Around The Web


Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on