Jacques Audiard won the Palme d’Or for this pulsating tale which again affirms his dextrous skill in weaving steel and heart; humane drama and gritty action. Dheepan (Antonythasan Jesuthasan) is a veteran Tamil Tiger guerrilla forced to flee Sri Lanka following the end of the civil war. The surest way to attain safe passage is to pose as a family, so he sets off with two strangers as his ‘wife’ Yalini (Kalieaswari Srinivasan) and ‘daughter’ Illayaal (Claudine Vinasithamby).
Starting afresh in Paris, they face numerous hurdles, from adapting to a new country to holding down menial jobs and attempting to maintain a sense of normal family life, despite all three being relative strangers. But their world is further shaken when Dheepan becomes embroiled with a local gang, instinctively reverting to his old combat skillset to save the family he’s grown to love.