Thursday, December 10, 2009
A Worthwhile Movie
We saw a very fine French movie the other day—impressive enough to recommend. Its English title is The Secret of the Grain, the French is La Graine et le Mulet. It was made in 2007. It is set in a southern French port city. Its subject, outwardly, anyway, is couscous. The best couscous I ever ate I ate at a French officers club in Baumholder, Germany, my hosts the commanders of a French unit made up almost exclusively of Arabic soldiers drawn from North Africa. That’s an aside but meaningful: the family and society featured in this film are of mixed French-Arabic extraction. Brigitte and I were floored. The theme of the movie—its discovery I leave to you—catches up with you some time after seeing it. And then it carries a strange impact difficult to put into words.