Poetical Refugee

La Faute à Voltaire
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche

France, Drama, 2000, 130 min, french with english and lithuanian subtitles, N-16

Abdellatif Kachiche‘s debut feature film “Poetical Refugee” is a gritty story about dignity and human fraternity. Like Voltaire‘s Candide dreaming of Eldorado, Jallel from North Africa (Sami Bouajila) lands in France, hoping to try his luck. From one encounter to the next, from hostels to immigrant aid societies, Jallel lives among the excluded and, while his dreams of success remain unrealised, he comes to discover and share the solidarity of the other outcasts.


2000 – CinemAvvenire Award and Luigi De Laurentiis Award at the Venice International Film festival (Italy).
2000 – Special Jury Prize and Youth Jury Emile Cantillon Award at the Namur International French-Language Film Festival (Belgium).

Section: Abdellatif Kechiche film retrospective

Screenplay: Abdellatif Kechiche

Dir. of Photography: Dominique Brenguier, Marie Spencer

Cast: Sami Bouajila, Élodie Bouchez, Bruno Lochet, Aure Atika, Olivier Loustau, Virginie Darmon