Dheepan

Film Review by Ross McIndoe | 29 Feb 2016
  • Dheepan
Film title: Dheepan
Director: Jacques Audiard
Starring: Antonythasan Jesuthasan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan, Claudine Vinasithamby
Release date: 8 Apr
Certificate: 15

Winner of last year's Palme d'Or, Jacques Audiard (A Prophet) delivers another gripping film with this timely immigration drama.

Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan begins with a woman scouring a Sri Lankan refugee camp in search of an unclaimed child, grabbing any girl she finds unattended and demanding to know if her parents are alive. She needs the girl, we discover, to pose as her daughter so that she and a man, also a stranger to them both, can makes use of the IDs left behind by a man named Dheepan and his family, allowing them legal passage to Europe. Wherever we find ourselves, we do what we must to get by. When that place is horrific, our actions will likely be ugly.

As they settle in to the Parisian project they now call home, each of the three has their own trials and indignities to overcome as they try to forge a real life as a pretend family. Powered by three strong, naturalistic performances, some of the best scenes are the quietest ones, in which a real connection is momentarily sparked between strangers borne together by sheer necessity.


Dheepan screened at Glasgow Film Festival.

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