Facets Cinémathèque

Archives +

November 20–26, 2015

Chicago Premiere

The Great Man
Le grand homme

Buy tickets
Film still: The Great Man Film still: The Great Man
Film of the Week
  —Film Comment
"An intimate metaphysical drama... an arresting work, combining substance and style in innovative ways"
  —Hollywood Reporter
Critics' Pick "Filmmaker Sarah Leonor has a keen eye and a gentle, unassuming touch... she discreetly changes moods and storytelling modes like a pianist sliding her hand down a short, soft glissando"
  —New York Times
3 stars "The Great Man depicts in exquisitely cinematic fashion the symbiotic relationship between brothers and the role of the group as guarantor for a legitimate masculinity as Freud famously theorized it in Totem and Taboo"
  —Slant Magazine
3 stars½
  —Boston Globe

Hamilton (Jérémie Renier, La Promesse, Summer Hours) and Markov (Surho Sugaipov) are about to finish five years of service in the Foreign Legion. During their six-month posting in Afghanistan, they wind up in crossfire while out on an unauthorized leopard hunt. After Hamilton is shot and nearly killed, Markov risks his life to save him at the expense of his own dreams of gaining French citizenship, since the ambush resulted in an abdication of duty.

Later, Hamilton is reunited with Markov in Paris and while he remains in the Foreign Legion, Markov is leading a difficult life as an illegal immigrant, trying to provide for his young son Khadji. When Markov is killed in an accident, Hamilton feels obligated to look after the child of the man who saved his life.

This intimate drama depicts the traumas of war and immigration, in a powerful story about friendship and solidarity, as well as a dismal portrait of twenty-first century Europe, a place of displacement, emigration, flight from broken countries, and hopes for new life.

Directed by Sarah Leonor, 2014, France, 107 mins. In French and Russian with English subtitles.


  • Fri., Nov. 20 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Nov. 21 at 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Nov. 22 at 1, 3, 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Nov. 23–26 at 7 & 9 pm
Buy tickets


$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation