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Palme d'Or winner is an explosive look at poverty, crime and the immigrant experience
DHEEPAN (Jacques Audiard). Opens Friday (May 13). See Listing. Rating: NNNNN
Dheepan will strike a nerve not just for the many Tamils in Toronto, who will see shards (and open wounds) from their own lives reflected on screen, but also for all who share or empathize with the immigrant experience.
Audiard’s beautiful and furious story about three Tamil refugees posing as a family to escape Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war and build new lives in France understands displacement on a sensory level. Adjusting to new customs and languages feels like stumbling in the dark every face looks judgmental, suspicious or mocking the guilt for what was left behind lives deep inside and the longing for a home is hard-wired with a sense of defeat. The film also makes room for hope, humour and compassion.
The eponymous character (a revelatory performance by author Antonythasan Jesuthasan) is a former Tamil Tiger suffering from PTSD. The suburban apartment block where he and his makeshift family are dumped is the typical cauldron of poverty, crime and culture clashes. It’s Dheepan who boils over.
Don’t miss our feature with director Jacques Audiard.