The Secret of the Grain

Synopsis: At the port of Sète, Mr. Slimani, a tired 60-year-old, drags himself toward a shipyard job that has become more and more difficult to cope with as the years go by. He is a divorced father who forces himself to stay close to his family despite the schisms and tensions that are easily sparked off and that financial difficulties make even more intense. He is going through a delicate period in his life and, recently, everything seems to make him feel useless: a failure. He wants to escape from it all and set up his own restaurant. However, it appears to be an unreachable dream given his meager, irregular salary that is not anywhere near enough to supply what he needs to realize his ambition. But he can still dream and talk about it with his family in particular. A family that gradually gives its support to this project, which comes to symbolize the means to a better life. Thanks to its ingeniousness and hard work, this dream soon becomes a reality...or almost....
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Abdellatif Kechiche
Production: IFC Films
  19 wins & 7 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
151 min

We're crossing the fishing port.

Starboard is a tuna boat

with its heap of nets in the back

and the skiff on the poop deck.

The skiff holds one end of the net

as the boat circles a tuna shoal.

Most tuna boats are at sea now.

They make 3-month excursions

off the coasts of Libya, Malta, Cyprus,

Turkey and the Balearic Islands.

There, on the right,

those are trawlers.

Those boats over there.

On either side of the seine

are grids

to hold the nets open horizontally

when it's dredging behind the boat.

They go out on day trips,

Monday through Friday,

from 2 in the morning

to mid-afternoon,

until the boss says

they have enough.

That's the fish crier's compartment.

It got its name

because there once was a man

yelling what fish they had,

and the price.

Now that's all over.

Everything's on computer.


That's the scrap area.

That's where scrapiron is stored,

before being shipped to Turkey.

There used to be ovens in France.

We lost the matches.

Unless it's a manpower problem.

Marie, take over a minute!

God damn!

Over there,

concrete blocks are piled,

forming a breakwater.

This is crazy, Madeleine. Stop!

What's crazy? This?

I'm working.

This is no time.

It's exciting!

Hurt me.

It's not the time.

If you look behind you,

on the left

you can see

boats pulled ashore for repair.

This is called

the harbor careening area.

That's where repairs are made

to the boat's underside,

meaning every part

which is immersed.


paint, propellers, etc.


What is it?

So a schedule is toilet paper?

What schedule?

I made one up.

You weren't on it this morning.

You talk schedules and deadlines.

How can I finish?

You don't finish the job!

This project is stagnating.

We've been at it 3 days!

- Exactly! It's been 3 days!

- Talk about schedules.

That's the problem.

This project's going nowhere.

If you can't move these jobs,

what do I tell the others?

Jose, quit it.

I'm talking to Slimane.

It's not your business.

Keep out of it.

Everyone stops.

When does the job get done?

You play me for a fool!

What's the idea?

What's up with this job?

It should be done!

You read the schedules now.

Don't ask questions

and things will be simple.

You're making my life difficult.

I'll read that schedule...

I had to cut your hours.

It's early. Things are still slow.

I don't get it.

Look on the bright side.

You'll have time

with your grandkids.

To go fishing.

Who asked you?

I got my orders.

We're over quota for man hours.

Listen, we're trying

to stave off the worst.

Anybody who's not happy...

Don't give me that stare.

I said don't!

You want me out, is that it?

I only said it's slow now.

Can't pay you to loaf.

I work.

I know.

- I do my job.

- I know.

I've worked 35 years.

In salt.

Between the sea and the yard.

So what?

You're not profitable anymore.

You're tired and you're tiresome.

That's the truth.

You had 2 days to finish that boat.

Two days is two days.

Not 21/2, not 3.

Know what you're costing me?

There's work to be done

on that boat.

I don't know.

I'm not a businessman anyway.

You don't know what work

that boat needed. You don't.

I'm sorry for you, Slimane.

I don't get you.

Ren made you a good offer.

You said no.


I've been on the yard since '69.

Ren says I got 16 years in.

Not even half of the truth.

Not our fault

you were off the books.

We took over in '90.

What happened before...

- I don't get it.

- You don't?

I don't. Tell me.

You know, but you won't say it.

How long have I been on the yard?

You have to choose.

Rate this script:(0.00 / 0 votes)

Abdellatif Kechiche

Abdellatif Kechiche (French: [abdɛlatif keʃiʃ]; Tunisian Arabic: عبد اللطيف كشيش‎, born 7 December 1960) is a Tunisian-French actor, film director and screenwriter. He made his directorial debut in 2000 with La Faute à Voltaire, which he also wrote. His film Blue Is the Warmest Colour won the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. more…

All Abdellatif Kechiche scripts | Abdellatif Kechiche Scripts

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "The Secret of the Grain" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 29 Nov. 2020. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    The Secret of the Grain

    The Marketplace:

    Sell your Script !

    Get listed in the most prominent screenplays collection on the web!

    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.

    Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.