La Famille Bélier: A Review

By Ma

On my third day of stay at Brisbane, where I had nothing to do but feel idle inside my own hotel room, I switched on the television and chose a French movie called La Famille Bélier among the long list of films displayed on the screen, hoping that it would be as intriguing as the title suggested, and that it could kill my boredom.

Directed by Éric Lartigau and released in 2014, the movie centers around Paula, the only ordinary girl in the farmer family. As all other members are deaf, Paula plays an indispensable role as an interpreter almost every day. The story develops when one day, beyond her expectation, Paula is selected to take part in a musical contest, as her school music instructor discovers her talent for singing. Despite the opportunity to participate in the contest at Paris and the probable chance to study in a music school there, it also means she has to leave her homeland and can no longer support her family. A dilemma appears to be even worse when Paula’s father decides to run for Mayor and genuinely and urgently needs her assistance. It is hard indeed for her to choose between family and dream…

The film, in my opinion, possesses a simple plot without any special effects. Nonetheless the one-hundred-and-five-minute-long movie provides no mundane scenes, and instead, it strikes my heart deeply, in particularly when Paula sings her emotions whole-heartedly and cordially.

After all it was a mere coincidence for me to watch such an impressive film, and certainly La Famille Bélier provides a good platform for me to learn French, too.

I would like to attach the lyrics of “Je vole” (I fly), the most touching song ever heard, which Paula sings during the contest in the final scene of the movie:


*My dear parents I leave

I love you but I leave

You would have no more children

This evening

I don’t escape I fly

Understand well I fly

With neither smoke nor drink

I fly, I fly*

She observed me yesterday

Worried, uneasy, my mum

As if she felt it

Indeed she doubted herself


I have said I was good

With quite an air of serenity

As though she did nothing

And my dad, powerless,


Don’t turn back

Go a bit afar

At Gard there is another station

And at last is the Atlantic


I ask myself about my path

If my parents doubt

That my tears were running

My promises and wish to proceed

Believe only in my life

All that has promised me

Why, where and how

In this train which runs faraway

Each instant

It’s strange this cage

Which stifles my chest

I can breathe no more

It inhabits me from singing





I fly, I fly

[English version translated by James Au on 26th October, 2016]

*Mes chers parents je pars
Je vous aime mais je pars
Vous n’aurez plus d’enfants
Ce soir
Je ne m’enfuis pas je vole
Comprenez bien je vole
Sans fumée sans alcool
Je vole, je vole*
Elle m’observait hier
Soucieuse, troublée, ma mère
Comme si elle le sentait
En fait elle se doutait
J’ai dit que j’étais bien
Tout à fait l’air serein
Elle a fait comme de rien
Et mon père démuni
A souri

Ne pas se retourner
S’éloigner un peu plus
Il y a à Gard une autre gare
Et enfin l’Atlantique


Je me demande sur ma route
Si mes parents se doutent
Que mes larmes ont coulés
Mes promesses et l’envie d’avancer
Seulement croire en ma vie
Tout ce qui m’est promis
Pourquoi, où et comment
Dans ce train qui s’éloigne
Chaque instant
C’est bizarre cette cage
Qui me bloque la poitrine
Je ne peux plus respirer
Ça m’empêche de chanter


Je vole, je vole

Read more: Louane – Je Vole Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Lyrics from :

[Featured image taken from]


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