The Saga of an Extended Family in a French Seaport

"Secret of the Grain" Playing at the Sonoma Film Institute
secretofthegrain.jpgSet in a community of first and second-generation Maghrebi immigrants in a depressed port town in the south of France, "The Secret of the Grain" envelopes the audience in the squabbles of an extended family for whom food provides more than sustenance.

This 2007 film is winner of four Césars (France's Oscars) including best picture, and winner of the 2007 FIPRESCI and Special Jury prizes at the Venice Film Festival.

When 61-year-old Slimane Beiji (Habib Boufares) is laid off after 35 years at the shipyard, he decides to use his severance pay to buy a rundown boat that wil house a restaurant to serve his ex-wife's beloved fish couscous. His dream seems unbelievable, but his contagious conviction and persistence work their way into the hearts of his loyal but dispersed family.

"Secret of the Grain" plays Friday, March 25 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 27 at 4 p.m. in Warren Auditorium, Ives 101.

Admission is $6 general admission, $5 for non-SSU students and senior citizens, $4 for SFI members and children under 12, and free for SSU students.

"Secret of the Grain" is the eighth of fourteen films slated for screenings during the spring semester, including:

"Soul Kitchen" - April 1, April 3

"La Mission" - April 8, April 10

"I Know Where I'm Going" - April 15

"Troubled Water" - April 29

"Le Quattro Volte" - May 6, May 8

"Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" - May 13, May 15

The Sonoma Film Institute (SFI) is located on the Sonoma State University campus, and is the oldest film repertory organization in the North Bay Area. Since 1973, SFI has unspooled enough celluloid to reach the next galaxy.

Each year, between September and May, SFI presents more than 50 films. These screenings - ranging from silent cinema to the avant-garde, from contemporary American fare to films from the Third World - expand the educational opportunities to students, as well as providing cultural benefit to the campus and surrounding community.

For more information on the Sonoma Film Institute, visit the website at, or contact Eleanor Nichols, SFI Director, at (707) 664-2606 or

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