Le Grand Voyage & Arranged

1. Le Grand Voyage
This heart touching film tells the story of Reda, a French-Moroccan teenager who lives with his family in Southern France who was asked by his devout father to accompany him on a pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca by car, travelling across Europe & Middle East. He reluctantly agrees because he is preparing for his Baccalauréat exam & even more important, he has a secret love relationship with his French girlfriend. Nevertheless, his father still insists him to accompany him.

As both of them embark on a road trip thousands of kilometres from Southern France to Mecca, the once icy father & son relationship starts to thaw as both gradually come to know each other. Reda learns more about Islam & why his father thought it would be preferable to make the pilgrimage by car rather than by aeroplane. The route taken by them goes from France through Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria & Jordan before reaching Saudi Arabia. Along the way, they stop at several places, experience several incidents & meet several interesting characters.

This is the first film permitted by the Saudi Arabian government to be shot during the Hajj season.

2. This marvellous film centers on two young women. One is an Orthodox Jew & the other is a religious Muslim. They meet and become friends as first year teachers at a public school in Brooklyn, New York. Over the course of the year, they learn that they share much in common, especially the fact that they are both going through arranged marriages.

This inspirational film really shows that Muslims & Jews can be friends. Who says that we can’t so. As long as we respect & understand each other, there will be no harm. Friendship has no religion.

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