Generational Crisis in Le Grand Voyage


“Grandma, click on the icon for Internet Explorer.”

“Click with what? Where is the icon? These fancy gadgets are impossible.”

We’ve all had a conversation like this with someone from the older generation, the generation that only had outside to play with, no fancy Playstations or iPads. In our high tech world, it’s no wonder that we have lost a little bit of the connection with the generation of our grandparents. The evidence of this phenomenon can be seen all over the world and the situation between Reda and his father in the film Le Grand Voyage is no exception.

When Reda’s father tells him that he is going to drive them to Mecca, Reda is angered to say the least. His whole life is in France. Final exams at school are coming up and his girlfriend is there too. The one thing that can connect him to his world in France during the trip is his cell phone. The father, wanting to connect with Reda on the trip, throws the cell phone in a garbage can. The father was trying the only thing he knew to try to make his son understand the importance of the journey. Though this may seem cruel in this generation, I believe it was a father’s attempt to interact with his son. The cell phone was a distraction from what really matters, and the father’s attempts to get rid of those distractions is heart wrenching.

There is hope for them though. Before they get to Mecca, Reda asks his father, “What’s so special about Mecca?” Reconciliation is completed here. Finally Reda cares enough to ask what the point of the trip was. Father and son meet in the middle acknowledging that they learned a lot. When both sides give a little, the result is a mended family. Though the generational gap may seem huge, it is not infinite. Accepting that there is knowledge on both sides can lead to love and mutual understanding.


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