Fahim (2019) Script

Based on a true story

Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh


May 2011


I bet money on him, and he lost.

How could that kid beat him?

What can I do about it?

Give me my money.

My money! I won!

My money! I won, brother!

Come on, give it to me!


Fahim!

That donkey doesn't know how to drive!


Come here!

Wait for me!

Nura, wait.

What are you doing?

Go play downstairs!

Be careful!

Do you want to meet a chess grandmaster?

Yes, I do!

But when?

When?


If we all go, we'll be spotted.

Do you remember what I said?

First, shelter...

Papers...

Work...

Then we'll join you.

Then we'll all be together.

God knows what'll happen.

Fahim...

Obey your father.

Hurry up!

Give me that.

Secure it.

I hope it all goes OK for you.

Same for you.

Fahim, come on.

Mom, I don't want to.

I don't want to go!

Mom!


Can you help me cross?

No, I can't.

Can you help me cross the border?

No.

I'll pay you.

I'm going to meet the Grandmaster!

Hurry up!


Bangladesh-India border


Who's he? He's helping me.

Get out.

Papers!

Get out!

This is for you.

Let this truck through.

Quick! I was winning!

I don't think so.


Get out.

Don't leave us here. It's the airport.

This is your captain speaking. We'll arrive in Paris in 30 minutes. The temperature is 16 degrees.

The sea!

Dad, the sea!

The sea!

No, they're clouds.


There's no driver.

Dad, there's no driver!

France!

Zidane!

Eiffel Tower! Buy Eiffel Tower!

Wait here, OK?

See you later.

More. You pay upfront in France.

With that, you can stay 3 nights.

Here.

Enjoy Paris.

I don't need anyone in the kitchen, but if I do, I'll call you.

Thank you, take care.

No job.


Thank you.


Dad, when will I meet the Grandmaster?

Soon.

Sir...

Don't worry.

Don't worry. It's OK.

It's the Red Cross, don't worry.

We're here to help. The Red Cross.

Don't take my son.

We're not the police. Don't worry.

Not the police. Do you understand?

We want to help.

Come on, we'll give you some food.

Come and get warm.

I'll kill you, Ousmane and Samba. Pick it all up!

Control them. Hello.

You'll go back to Dakar! I'm sick of you.

Welcome to French Asylum Support.

You'll be fine here.

The bathroom's over there.

You can stay till your asylum request is processed.

You never hit a child.

Next time, I'll hit you, OK?

Bon appétit.

Bon appétit.

Not like that! Take off the plastic.

Look.


Fahim, when you've finished teaching us chess...

Chess.

We'll play soccer.

Zidane. Kick.

Wait... He can do that?

Is he dead?

Is he...

I mean, dead. Dead.

There!

There's a chess club near here.

Their website sucks.

"Sucks"?

The website.

Sucks. Club sucks.

You're charming!

It's a black, it'll win. Sure.

Everyone knows black wins.


Créteil chess club

Elliott, you're dead!

Louis.

Me? Yes.

Bishop takes bishop... maybe.

Maybe?

F4-f3. Discovered check.

You've lost your queen, you're dead.

Max.

No, I'm dead.

So?

Who'll find it?

Chess club sucks?

What's he want?

Fahim.

My class is in French.

Registration is in September, and it's already full.

Exit.

I know. The pawn takes it.

So you don't know.

Alex, what's that?

My pen. Pardon?

I'm clicking my pen.

Clicking your pen.

What about you, Luna?

Knight e1? Better.

If rook takes g2, check.

Knight takes rook? That's not my Luna.

You have to eliminate the bishop.

Right!

Everyone, out!

You stay.

Go on.

Here we go again.

Cig break? There's a new kid.

Yeah, a young immigrant. He's real good.

His dad said the club sucked.

That's not nice.

Good game.

Play immediately.


The same move 3 times: a draw.

That's it.

Black can't win, no matter what.

I didn't say "win". I said "finish".

Now you're dead.

What are you doing?

He's mean, I'm not playing!

Good idea. I should try that with some!

Don't run off.

You play very well. Come and sign up.

Don't bother. He doesn't understand.

Where's he going?

Fahim: idiot.

He can't go off on his own.

What? I didn't do anything.

Bon appétit.


Mom!

Can you hear me?

Are you well?

Mom, are you well?

Can you hear us?

It's not working!

Can you hear us?

Mom, hear us?

Can't you hear me?

So much for technology!

Is it Mohammad or Mohammed? Mohammad.

Mohammad, OK. How many children?

Children? 3? OK.

The asylum process is long. We've waited for 14 months.

Unless you're important, like an Olympic champ.

It doesn't look like it.

Your dad could marry.

He's too skinny. He looks like Snoop Dogg.

Not in front of Fahim!

He doesn't understand. So shut up or I'll abandon you!

Me understand little little.

Hello.

So...

Mr. Mohammad Nura, why are you applying for asylum in France?

Why are you applying for asylum in France?

Fahim, go play outside. This will take a while.

Go ahead.

I'm scared for my family back home.

He heard that France is a good place for welfare, so if it works, he'll bring his whole family.

Is he joking? I don't know.

Finding a job and a home, fitting in: is that a priority for you?

She says it's brave to have come here.

We're doing all we can to move things along.

Thank you. I really needed your help.

What?

He said...

Translate it.

They're going to cross over into England anyway.

Well, that's great!

Bring me concrete proof of your situation, OK?

It's all fine.

Don't worry, we'll keep you informed.

Here's your receipt.

That's your receipt.

Thank you.

Goodbye.

Well, goodbye.

September 2011 You the new kid? Yes, sir.

You're late on your first day. What a great start!

What happened? It's the monsoon, sir.

The monsoon? The monsoon.

The monsoon!

So? It's not easy.

I'll repeat it as it's tricky.

How do we connect each house with pipes so each house has gas, electricity, and water without the pipes touching?

What're you up to? Nothing.

That's not it. It is.

You'll get caught. Forget it. You're dead.

She'll punish you.

Show me, Fahim.

You're so dead.

I'll show you.

You can't do it in 2 dimensions, but Fahim thought of using 3 dimensions.

Bravo, Fahim. Very good.

He did it.

Bravo. You're good at math.

Try chess. You'd like it.

Did I say something funny?

He's a chess nerd.

Dad, you know...

In school, I speak French.

Wow, bravo, son.

"I speaking French."

The teacher's feet stink.

"Teacher's feet pink."

No, "stink".

Bon appétit!

Bravo.

A woman's injured.

Lay her down!

Everything's on fire. - Gather the wounded.

I don't like him.

He's so fat.

He scares me.

Don't talk nonsense.

We came from Bangladesh for him.

Every child in Bangladesh would love to be in your shoes. Come on.

Welcome.

That's not the same.

They say that phonetically, it's...

It's not very reliable.

Speak French, please, ma'am.

You already speak French!

Wow! In 6 months? Bravo.

Good teacher.

Her feet stink?

Oh, the teacher...?

Yes, well... she's still a good teacher.

That's what matters.

Well, I'm very pleased you decided to come back here.

It's true that Sylvain...

Mr. Charpentier. His name's Sylvain.

He's a bit harsh, a bit... a bit bearish, a bit... strict, a bit...

A bit cold, too. I should know.

But you'll get along fine.

You'll make great progress.

They say he's the best teacher.

He trained lots of champions back in the day.

Maybe you're the next.

Membership is 90 euros.

90 euros!

90 euros to join.

Let's go.

Stay there. Never mind...

I'll sign you up. Mr. Charpentier won't mind. Anyway, I decide.

She's not making us pay.

Thank you so much.

Only 1 new word a day for me!

I can say "Welcome".

Bravo.

I was the one who taught you that.

You played well.

It seems lost, but you'll save the day.

How?

If you tell him, I'll tear you to shreds.

This?

Bishop to a6?

No.

It is, meathead.

All heads are meat.

Come here.

Bishop a6.

A fiendishly clever move which saves white.

You have to know what you're doing.

Late.

What? We're late.

No, we're on time.

My father says: "Not late."

Yes, late.

He says: "Late."

An hour is nothing.

In Bangladesh, no-one is on time, no-one waits, everyone happy.

I hate excuses. And happy people.

What?

And people who argue.

Come here.

You have to know what you play.

OK?

OK?

White can use a combination to promote the pawn at h6.

But before you dive in, you have to think ahead to the endgame, the crux of the matter.

Not interested?

When do we play, Mr. Sylvain?

Chess isn't a game, Mr. Fahim.

Chess is a war. A war between 2 minds.

No sport is more violent.

Kasparov, the Beast from Baku, said so.

When he played, the Russian master stared at his opponent as if he could see inside him, as if he could destroy him.

Come up.

Come on.

What now?

Attack. No.

Don't spout any old crap.

It's not crap! Look.

Think.

What about you?

Look at the chessboard.

What do we do?

I... No...

There... maybe... here.

Is a full sentence possible?

I think you should ask someone else.

Maybe we could move the rook from d5?

Maybe we could shut up when we don't know!

Well then... we must...

Let 'em laugh, carry on.

Yes.

At the end, he strikes!

The knockout.

With this, white will get its queen back.

OK, cig break.

In the break, we do exercises. We have to.

Exercise liberates hormones which help concentration.

The jerk!

"Jerk"? Exercise or I'll tell Mr. Charpentier.

Sir, Elliott wants to tell on Fahim.

He's a jerk!

Fahim, you too!

He's a jerk!

Good. You'll learn French fast with me. Louis.

Fahim.


Amu.

Just "Amu"?

He means his mother, because he calls her "Amu".

That's very interesting, Fahim's confusion.

He confused "maire", mayor and "mère", mother.

That's a homophone.

What's that? It's the same sound, but it's not the same word.

Another example?

"La mer"... a lot of water.

Exactly. The sea you swim in. Very good.

The answer's on the chessboard, Max.


He's lousy at chess.

Why doesn't he play anymore?

What's that?

If you want to know, learn French!

Checkmate.

Stop it! Well played.

What is it, Max? Are you losing?

He keeps making noises.

It's not me, it's my pen.

If your pen does that in tournaments, I'll tear you to shreds!

Time's up. Stop playing.

Post mortem. Tidy up.

"Pose mortal"?

Post mortem. It's when Sylvain explains why you played badly, whether you won or lost.

Let me see.

Not bad.

You could've won sooner. But I won.

Luna, your sheet.

Donkey!

Good. Thanks.

Well played.

See you on Saturday, Mathilde.

Go easy on Fahim.

He doesn't listen. He's too angry.

He's young.

Bobby Fischer, grandmaster at 15, Magnus Carlsen, grandmaster at 13, Sergey Karjakin, at 12.

Fahim is already old. He lives in a hostel with his dad.

Viktor Korchnoi, asylum in Switzerland, Boris Spassky, a refugee in France, Fischer in Iceland, Kasparov...

OK, you're right.

Chess... Nothing but chess.

November 2011 - Fahim and Nura have been in France for 6 months

All this is of little interest.

It doesn't belong in your file.

Do you have documents to justify your asylum application?

She asks if you want to abandon your asylum application.

If you don't cooperate, you have no chance.

Hang in there.

We'll help you.

Liar! You're a cheat!

What? You dufus!

What is this?

He lied. What?

Control your son.

He's lying.

Why are you here?

You're lying!

Liar! I'm talking to your father!

What's up? He lied!

What? Why do you lie?

Beat it. You beat it!

Dad!

He's lying!

I translated your dad's words. No!

Get out! Go on, Raj.

Hurry up. Out!

Ma'am... Out, I said!

Raj, go on.

I'll deal with you later.

I'll get another interpreter.

I'm the interpreter. I can do it, ma'am.

We'll do it this way for now.

Ask why he did that.

Why did the interpreter lie?

Maybe he sabotaged your application to favor an Indian.

He's Indian. He did it to favor Indians over us.

So I need an account of all that happened to you.

If you have photos, press cuttings...

We're just here for chess.

Chess?

How so?

My father says he was against the government.

To punish him, they tried to kidnap me.

Because I'm well-known because of playing chess.

Papers! He needs help.

Asshole!

I'm gonna deal with you!

We know who you are.

My father and I had to leave my mom.

Mom is back home.

That's it.

You'll have to prove all this.

The death threats, political trouble, etc.

You have to charm the judge.

Get some standard-size ID photos done. OK?

Do you have a photo of your mom?


Tell your dad he needs a job.

That's very important.

What if you don't give us papers?

Your dad will go back to Bangladesh.

And me?

You'll be put in a home.

It's the law. That's how it is.

What did the lady say?

Nothing.

I need 5 euros.

5 euros? Yes.

I couldn't tell you the truth.

I know, Dad.

But it's bad to lie!

Magnus Carlsen was only 13 at the time.

He was tying with the Grandmaster, Sipke Ernst.

It's the last part of the tournament. The game seems balanced.

Now then...

Knight moves to g6.

Pawn takes knight.

1st sacrifice.

Then queen takes e6.

Check.

King h8.

H5 takes g6.

Knight moves to g8 to defend the position.

Bishop takes h6 and...

2nd nail in the coffin.

No, he doesn't speak French yet, but he's a great guy.

OK, well, listen...

If you hear about a little job or even a big job... give me a call.

Thanks. Right...

Thanks a lot.

It gets to me, all that banging.

Knight takes h6.

3rd sacrifice.

Sylvain, please make less noise.

Is that why you're here?

So, are you following or not?

The king is weak when...

...his queen has gone!

Yes... OK, cig break.

Why did she come?

What's his problem?

When he sees Mathilde... He acts wacko.

"Wacko"? He goes nuts.

Remember "nuts"? It's the same.

Like Luna with you!

Dream on, Alex!

He does nothing?

Like with chess, he knows the theory, but he sucks at the game!

Sylvain is a loser.

Exactly. Well said.

He's making progress. Yeah.


February 2012

I said: "Cig break."

Everyone outside. It's too cold.

Where's Fahim?


Put this on.

Wear a coat in the snow.

I don't have a coat.

Remember it next time. He said he doesn't have one.

Give it a try. It's very handy.

So...

As you don't like cig breaks... you'll play... blind.

Yes! Wake up.

I want you to "see" the chessboard.

Imagine the columns and diagonals.

Visualize it.

There are more adventures on the board than on all the high seas.

Go.

E4.

C5.

Knight f3.

D6.

D4.

C5 takes D4.

The Sicilian.

An aggressive defense favored by Bobby Fischer and Kasparov.

Knight takes d4.

In your head, Fahim.

Only in your head, Fahim.

Knight f6.

Very good.

Knight c3.

G6.

The Dragon Variation.

A sharp continuation. Risky, though.

King h1.

Queen g1. Check.

Rook takes queen.

That's it!

Knight f2.

I've been checkmated.

A smothered mate. Fantastic!

I see that fair Luna inspires you!

This weekend, rest up to be at your best for the tournament.

No going out, no alcohol...

No drugs. And no sex!

Go on.

Goodbye, Mathilde. That's just how it is.

So, what'll you do?

Paris Regional Championship Elliott, table 2, white.

Kids, you didn't greet our friends from Créteil thanks to whom...

We win. Yes!

Thanks for coming.

Luna, table 5, white.

Hi, Sylvain. We're pleased to please you!

Oh, how nicely put!

Be nice n' happy.

Don't.

He busts my balls! The dufus!

You win at the chessboard.

We'll kick Boulogne's ass, OK?

Tables 6 and 8, white.

We'll fuck 'em up. Kick their ass.

We'll kick their ass!

Where is he?

I said we had to leave earlier. Always late!

We left on time.

It was the bus. We should've left earlier.

Hi, children. The tournament is starting soon.

I remind you that cellphones must be off.

You may not leave the room without an arbiter's permission.

You each have an hour for the game and 45 minutes to make your first move.

After that, you will be disqualified.

Oh, shit!

Not today...

Black starts the clock, white plays.

Round 1


"In Bangladesh, no-one waits." I'll kick your ass!

I didn't mean you.

Are the 45 minutes up?

I hope they've been deported.

That'd be a proper excuse.

That's not very nice, Sylvain.


OK? What happened?

Stop it.

That's enough. Sorry.

Round 2 Black starts the clock. White plays.

Wake up.

People, the next round is starting.

Round 3

So? I'm going to win. You?

Do the Kasparov stare.


We saw that 100 times before!

Luna, do exactly what I said, OK?

You're 3rd at the moment.

They'll be better at the national championship.

Do me a favor, kid, go play drafts!

Good luck.

Dufard is your last opponent.

So, if you want to beat him...

I'll waste him!

Really? Break a leg. You break a leg.

No, that means "good luck".

Break a leg with Mathilde! Get on with it.

He's not bad. You recruit abroad now?

It ain't soccer! Didn't you know?

So you're Mohammed? I'm Dufard.

Mohammad.

Arabs usually play soccer, don't they?

Jerks don't usually play chess.

The Yugoslav Attack. It'll be a massacre.

Yes, so I see.

No!

Bishop to f8.

The kiss of death will follow!

Here, you can finish it.

Dammit!

Cellphone must be off. That goes for parents, too.

I'll put someone else on.

Yes...

He's here, but he doesn't understand.

Alright.

Alright, I'll tell him.

It's Immigration.

Immigration? Yes.

French?

I don't know. You must go now.

Fahim's goose is cooked.

Goose? No, cooked.

Dead. Lost.

Maybe your goose isn't cooked yet, so off you go.

Bon appétit!

Your little brat could go far.

It's a pity, but you know the rules, Sylvain.

No papers, no chess. Yes.

Yes, I know.

Oh, drat!

Checkmate.

Try soccer instead.

That deserves a penalty.

Thank you.

I want to go home.

Your dad will be here soon.

To Bangladesh.

Did it go well?

Did you win, son?

Did you get the papers?

We'll get them soon.

I got a job working nights.

My dad says it's progressing and he got a job.

That's wonderful!

He works nights.

What'll you do about the kid?

He's doing the Orangutan Opening!

Here, take that!

Pain in the ass!

I wasn't talking to you.

What? - It's Mathilde.

Come on up.

Oh, fuck.

I heard that.

- Do I come up anyway? - Yes, do.

Oh, shit...

Going out?

Yes. I mean, no, I just came home.

So, I'm home.

Are the papers done? Not yet.

Fahim's dad got a job. It's great to have a job.

But it's at night.

I see.

It's better paid at night...

But Fahim can't stay on his own.

So, I was wondering if you could...

If I could put you both up? OK.

Just Fahim at the moment.

Of course, just Fahim.

Sure, but tonight, it's complicated. Can't you do it?

I'm going out.

Oh, you're going out? Yes.

You're gonna have a guys' night!

Don't touch. It's Karpov's turn.

Don't touch that, whatever you do.

My books!

Hands off!

Are you hungry?

I have some blood sausage left over.

Look. Don't go overboard!

Is it pork?

Yes, how stupid of me.

No papers and Muslim: an unfortunate combination!

Help yourself to whatever you want.


Then I do that.

Stop.

How did you screw up?

Put your hands behind your back.

Play without your hands.

Go on.

Queen b4.

Queen b4...

You lose.

Don't just attack.

If you had traded queens, you could have drawn.

That's lousy. No, it's a half-point.

A French championship title is sometimes won on a half-point.

Not winning isn't a tragedy.

The worst thing is to lose the game.

Eiffel Tower?

Answering machine.

President, French Chess Federation What a pretentious message.

Peroni, this is Charpentier.

The Federation doesn't answer my emails. What about my proposal?

I repeat: foreign children who go to school in France must be allowed to take part in the French championship.

It's not hard to add that to the rules.

Just 1 sentence, dammit, Peroni!

Great message!

Is there a problem?

Yes.

I'm out of hot chocolate, but I made you a milky coffee with lots of sugar in.

Eat your cereal. It's good.

Like it?

Why weren't you a champion?

What's it got to do with you?

If you want us to be champions, we need to know why you weren't.

At 18, I was at the Porticcio Open.

Corsica's best tournament. I played perfectly.

I was sure to win, but I got taken in.

Taken in? Who by?

My heart can't stand the stress of a competition, see?

And?

I came over all faint.

The other guy won.

Who?

Now I give classes to little jerks who ask too many questions.

And that's when you started dressing badly?

No, I think my clothes are fine.

Don't you like them?

Well, how about that?

You're crazy!

No, I'm keeping my clothes.

Can Fahim stay at my place tonight?

Great, that way we can train... I said yes.

Yo, Pops.

Hello, sir. Welcome.

Hi, hon... I invited him to stay the night.

No, Elliott, it's not possible... Your father...

He's an illegal...

Here, Fahim. They don't fit Max anymore.

They do. They're brand-new.

You haven't broken them in yet.

You gave them to me.

I'll buy you another pair, sweetie.

Thanks. Don't mention it.

I'm so hungry and I would like to have a delicious meat sandwich.

I'm starvin', bro, and I'd kill for a kebab.

Elliott, wait up.

I made you these. Here, Fahim, a sandwich.

Thanks. Run along.

You're annoying me. You should leave.

Scram, you pain in the butt.

Good. Or "Run home to your ma."

May 2012 Nura has faced expulsion for 2 months

Boats!

The sea!

They're not boats - they're pedalos.

And it's not the sea - it's just a lake.

An artificial lake.

Never seen pedalos before?

I've never seen the sea.

Hey, Fahim.

Want to go on a pedalo?

I want my father.

Rooney is better than Gerrard.

Your dad comes for the mail, but he can't stay here anymore.

That reminds me...

There's a letter from home.

Gentlemen...

I'll be right back.

We leave for the French championship in Marseille on Monday at 6.45 AM.

Bye, Fahim.

You're sleeping at my place. See you outside.

For me?

It's for me?

A gift.

It's the first time I've been given a gift.

So I'll put it...

Where are you living now?

Don't worry, it's OK.

No! It's not OK!

Where are you now?

It's OK.

Fahim, maybe I can help you.

I want to be with my dad.

Yes, but you're better off with your friends.

They're not friends. Just pity... Yes, well, you can split hairs later.

Your dad works nights.

He's lying! What?

Bon appétit.

We didn't come to meet a chess grandmaster.

I understand, Dad.

And also...

You were in real danger back home.

Yes, I understand.

You must fight, become a champion, carry on without me.

The police could send me home at any moment.

Look, we didn't come here for chess.

Fahad is already a year old.

Nura, my love...

I finally received your letter.

You don't tell me much.

How is Fahim? Does he talk about me?

Did you find a job? A home?

When can we join you? It's hard here.

Thankfully, Jhorna helps me a lot.

I love you, Nura.

I love you, Fahim.

Mahamuda


The day before the French championship in Marseille Thank you.

So they slept rough?

Keep going. OK.

What the hell have we done?

Where to?

The Afghans and Somalians are in the north of Paris.

They said the Bangladeshis are in the east, next to the hobos.


In the world championship final between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky, Bobby lost the 1st game. He had a filthy temper.

He withdrew in the 2nd.

Everyone thought the match was over.

Bobby got a call from Kissinger, the head of US diplomacy.

He said: "Stop showing off. Kick that Russian's ass."

Kick ass?

He put it more politely, but you get the idea.

Bobby came back and won.

It's never too late, Fahim.

I'm not Bobby Fischer.

And I'm not exactly the king of diplomacy.

Sylvain!

Go on.

We'll come back for your dad.

Let's go to Marseille!


Don't go too far out.

Come get warm.

2012 French Championship

Please could parents and trainers leave the floor?

You have 90 minutes each.

Enjoy the tournament.

Sir, I'm not allowed to.

I won't change the rules today.

Registrations are now closed.

Your games won't work with me.

Your many emails said he's in school.

An illegal in the French championship!

Gino Peroni crosses the Alps on foot with his 3 brothers, to escape fascism.

When they arrive in Marseille in 1923, they're put in shantytowns. No-one reaches out to them.

They're called dagos or wops.

But a mason gives Gino a chance as an apprentice.

He works hard.

He married the mason's daughter. They had children and grandchildren. And all of them studied.

But generosity isn't something you learn from books.

Who told you that?

Give him a chance.

You pain in the ass!

Hello.

The red section.

Round 1 Are you ready for the 1st round?

Shake hands.

Black starts the clock. White begins.

They're fast.

Excuse me.

Not so loud.

I can't concentrate. Sorry.

Round 2 Good game.

Round 3

Round 4

Round 5

Now let's see.

Queen h6, rook h1, pawn takes...

2 pawn breaks...

Bishop f6... fork...

Queen moves...

It sounds lovely.

But I don't understand it.

Lovely. You must teach me.

It's brilliant.

This sacrifice is brilliant.


Right, let's go.

Charpentier...

Your kid will go far.

He'll go very far without papers.

Pakistan is a long way.

Same old jerk.

No.

Not the same. He's progressing!

Your number won't work every time.

Even if your brat becomes French champion, he can forget the world title.

His career ends here, believe me.

Yep!

He's following in his trainer's footsteps!

Eiffel Tower.


Don't move!

Your hands!

Tomorrow, there's the last round.

I wanted to say... that... you played badly often.

Even awfully badly sometimes.

But I saw passion... passion, desire...

I saw dwarfs become giants.

I want to say that...

I'm proud to be your teacher.

Very proud.

It's magnificent...

You're tired. That's good.

It's a big day.

What?

Your new dress. It's... funny.

"Funny"?

In the presidential campaign, the Prime Minister will be our guest...

More election promises!

Might as well believe in Santa!

Mr. Muhammad, you are an illegal alien.

You had 1 month's notice.

You'll be detained until you're expelled.

You are an illegal alien.

You were given 1 month to leave France.

You must go to a detention center until you are sent back to Bangladesh.

We'll look after him.

He'll be put in care.

Don't worry about Fahim.

We'll look after him.

He'll be put in care.

No! How is that possible?

Sir...

Men! Stop right there.

Calm down. Just calm down.

It's OK. Stop it.

Easy now... Bring him back.

Come on, get up.

It's OK.

Calm down.

You caused this situation, not us, OK?

Mathilde... - Nura?

Goose is cooked.

Goose is cooked.

I understand.

I'm counting on you, Luna. OK.

Max...

You've lost every game. What can I say?

Save your honor. Get a point for your grandma.

OK, sir. Go on, Max.

Fahim, I worked it out.

If you draw in the final against Dufard, you win, because yours is the best performance. So draw.

Don't take any risks.

Just draw.

The game is to draw.

Chess isn't a game, Mr. Sylvain. It's a fight.

Kasparov said so.

Sylvain!


Attention, everyone. Places, please. In silence.

For the final round, I wish you all the best for the French championship, here in Marseille.

Please be seated.

Shake hands.

I wish you luck.

Do you understand?

Break a leg.

We can't just sit here, can we?

Bishop b5.

I promised the kid. How does that make me look?

Spanish Opening...

Yeah, that's France for you.

We just stand by, watching the disaster.

France, yes.

Well, I want to believe in Santa, too.

The Berlin Defense...

Yes, we worked at it. Good.


Here we are...

No way forward. Go on, pack up and finish it.

France Inter Radio.

All our lines are busy. Please try again later.

Just concentrate, Fahim.

Don't do that.

Go on, my little Dufard.

The wise guy!

Finish him!

1 rook down.

Good...

All our lines are busy. Please try again later.

What're they playing at? Unbelievable!

What's he doing? Laying his king down?

It's over...


Rook takes g7.

You clever bastard!

That is good!

- France Inter, hello. - Hello, I have a question.

A question, who for?

For the Prime Minister during the news.


Can I have your sheet?

Yours, too.

Your sheet... Thank you.

So... Queen f6, check.

Queen g5...

Queen f6, check.

Queen g5 twice...

Queen f6. Queen g5.

It's a draw.

3 times the same move, it's over. Give your sheets in.

He's champion of France!

The champ...

Magnificent...

Give Erine a big hand. Well done, Erine.

So, what suspense for those who saw this last game.

In the under 12s category, the champion of France: Fahim Mohammad!

Fahim, it was a very good game.

My question is: How did you feel?

Dufard was good.

But I kicked his ass!

Thank you, Fahim. I can see you speak good French. You're a quick learner.

So you got your revenge, Sylvain.

You never got over losing to me in Porticcio.

Did you?

What is it?

You want to punch me in the face?

Thank you, Fressin.

Thank you.

Mathilde, your question has been chosen. You're live. Go ahead.

OK.

A question from a listener, Mathilde, Mr. Prime Minister.

Yes... hello. - Go ahead.

The Prime Minister is listening.

There's a young chess player from Bangladesh.

He's homeless.

An illegal alien.

He just became champion of France in the under 12s category.

He and his father are on the streets.

They face being deported. So my question is:

Is France the country of human rights... or just... the country of the Declaration of Human Rights?

That's it.

OK...

We still have a move to make.

Let's go get your father.

One should not be an illegal alien in France or in any other European country.

But a certain number of people are regularized because of their family situation, because of the contribution they can make to our country.

Of course, if this young man is a chess champion, his case deserves closer consideration.

We won't wait till after the elections. We'll do it today.

The Prime Minister enabled Fahim and his father to obtain a residence permit.

Mom?


Fahim's family came to France in 2015 and settled in Créteil.

Nura got a job in a canteen.

In 2013, Fahim became world youth champion.

He still hopes to be granted French citizenship.

Xavier Parmentier trained Fahim until his death in 2016, aged 53.

This film is dedicated to him.