Common ground

The genteel French film Monsieur Ibrahim, directed by François Dupeyron, is based on the book Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran, by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, who also coscripted the movie. It is a tender story about a Turkish Muslim and a French Jew. The setting is 1960s Paris, in the gritty but colorful Rue Bleue district, once infamous for its assortment of streetwalkers.

Living in a dark apartment above the street is Momo (his real name is Moses), a pensive teenager who thinks a lot about sex. The film opens with him smashing his piggy bank and using his savings to pay for the loss of his virginity. He does this without the knowledge of his father, a depressed penny-pincher who is obsessed with the wife who left him (Momo’s mother) and his own unrealized dreams.


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