COMPETITION – Dheepan, a warrior for Jacques Audiard

Jacques Audiard © AFP / AC. Poujoulat

Jacques Audiard returns this year in Competition with Dheepan – a film about political exile and the hope of building a new life in a country far from home. The return marks a long-awaited comeback from the director of Rust and Bone.  


.Film photo © Paul Arnaud


Dheepan is a Tamil warrior – a Tiger fighting for Tamil independence in Sri Lanka. He decides to flee his country ravaged by violence and defeat and set off with a woman and child – not his own  – to Paris, in search of a better life. On arrival, they move from hostel to hostel… Dheepan becomes a watchman at an office block, but the precariousness of his situation and the fragility of his domestic situation force him to fight, once again, for a new life.


For this film, Jacques Audiard turned to non-professional Tamil actors: Antonythasan Jesuthasan is a writer and Kalieaswari Srinivasan had a successful background in theatre. The only experienced actors in the film are Vincent Rottiers and Marc Zinga. The screen. They draws liberally on the Persian Letters, written by Montesquieu in 1721. In the philosopher’s famous epistolary novel, two travelling friends share their vision of Paris in the 18th century. In similar fashion, Jacques Audiard explores on how France appears in the eyes of a foreigner.


Jacques Audiard is one of France’s most garlanded directors. After his first appearance in 1994 in Critics’ Week with See how they fall, He garnered the Best Screenplay prize in 1996 for A Self-Made Hero. He garnered the Grand Prix from the Festival in 2009 for A Prophet, and in 2012, he returned to the Croisette with Rust and Bone, starring Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts.

Hannah Benayoun





Thursday 21 May / Grand Théâtre Lumière / 8.30 am, 2.30 & 7 pm
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