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Released internationally to high acclaim, Dheepan tells the story of three people from Sri Lanka who are given false identities and passage to Paris in hopes of building a new life away from the ravages of civil war. Jesuthasan Antonythasan is Dheepan, whose real name is Sivadhasan, a Tamil Tiger soldier. Fighting in the war sees his side losing and so he takes measures to escape. In order to gain a more secure political asylum, the man who helps him pairs him with Yalini (Kalieaswari Srinivasan) to play his wife and Illayaal (Claudine Vinasithamby) as their daughter. Neither know each other and yet they need to be convincing to gain freedom in Paris. The ruse works and after a time, he is employed by Brahim (Vincent Rottiers) to work maintenance in a seedy housing block. Crime and violence are a natural part of the neighborhood and the three are desperate to remain free of it while they all grow closer as a real family.
Directed by award-winning Jacques Audiard (Rust and Bone, The Prophet), Dheepan plays with the similarities of fear and violence in different settings, but more importantly, the power of the human spirit. Having won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and critically well-received internationally, Dheepan is getting its North American release, looking to find a larger audience. While the English-titled trailer focuses a lot on the personal relationships, the movie does feature a large action-centered finale, which may appeal to Western audiences. Foreign-language film historically don’t fair so well in the United States, though that is probably due to lack of studio distribution rather than interest.
Dheepan opens in limited release, May, 2016
Jacques Audiard (dialogue), Jacques Audiard(screenplay)
Jesuthasan Antonythasan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan,Claudine Vinasithamby