B R I E F   S Y N O P S I S
In the early 1960s in Paris, in a working class neighborhood, two unlikely characters—a young Jew, Momo (Pierre Boulanger) and an elderly Muslim, Ibrahim (Omar Sharif)—begin a friendship. Momo is effectively an orphan despite living with his father, a man imprisoned by crippling depression. Ibrahim, who runs a neighborhood shop, sees and knows more than he lets on. When Momo is abandoned by his father, Ibrahim becomes the one grown-up in Momo's life and together they begin a journey that will change their lives forever. Directed by François Dupeyron.
  Monsieur Ibrahim

I portray a Muslim much like all the Muslims who are my friends. Tolerant and with that Oriental wisdom which is learnt by oral tradition from father to son. The Koran says that all the Prophets of the Bible are the Prophets of Islam. And that Christ was born of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. That is what Islam is and should be in spite of the Fanatics who destroy its image. In this sense the film means a lot to me. It sends a message that we can all love each other whatever our race or religion. Like Momo and Monsieur Ibrahim.

When I read the script, I did not at first feel that I resembled the character of Monsieur Ibrahim. As I started to think about him and work, he became closer and closer to my way of seeing things and life in particular. Having said this, I am not sure who became whom. Perhaps I became closer to who he was. Because I am an older man now, I feel I am no more who I was and because I admire most of all tolerance towards race and religion, it was easy to fuse into Monsieur Ibrahim.

But my fear when I decided to play the role of Monsieur Ibrahim, was that he would seem pedantic or professional and therefore I tried to inject a sense of humour and fun into him, as if he too was a child. What intrigued me was that one never saw him when Momo was not there and I even thought at some point that he might only exist for the boy like an Angel sent to look after him and make him a happier person.



©2004 Landmark Theatres