Dheepan is a 2015 French drama film directed by Jacques Audiard. The film was partly inspired by Montesquieu's Persian Letters. Featuring novelist, and former Tamil Tiger child soldier, Antonythasan Jesuthasan in the lead role, the film tells the story of three Tamil refugees who flee the civil war-ravaged Sri Lanka and come to France, in the hope of reconstructing their lives. The film won the Palme d'Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. It has been selected to be shown in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. Wikipedia
Special Event Reviews
Jaques Audiard’s Dheepan opens with chaos-filled Sri Lanka where the Civil War has only just ended. Dheepan (Antonythasan Jesuthasan) a former Tamil Tiger soldier, Yalini a young woman, and Illayaal a nine-year-old child pose as a family so that they can be sent to France as refugees to start a new life. They subsequently find themselves in the outskirts of Paris living in a neighbourhood surrounded by local thugs. Dheepan shows us their daily life as they cope with their surroundings, get acquainted with a new culture and language and eventually begin to believe the lie that is their family. The subtle film features commendable performances and a befitting soundtrack by Nicholas Jaar that captures the displaced feelings of its main characters. It manages to send a powerful message about the immigrant experience. The tone of the movie changes towards the end, but Antonythasan, a former Tamil Tiger who sought political asylum in France in the early 1990s, disagreed with the criticism Dheepan has received for this unevenness. “The struggle of a refugee never really ends,” said Antonythasan in a Q&A session held after the first screening of the film at the festival.