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Recommended by Title

Recommended by Disability

General: Major Films  
TitleEighth Day, The (1996)
Alternative/Original TitleLe Huitieme jour
DisabilityGeneral Down's Syndrome
CountryFrance / Belgium
Length118
GenreDrama
Rating5
DirectorJaco van Dormael
CastDaniel Auteuil Pascal Duquenne Miou-Miou Henri Garcin Isabelle Sadoyan Michele Maes Fabienne Loriaux Alice Van Dormael
NotesThis film is a must, beautifully acted, beautifully photographed; forget, if you like, about disabilities this film succeeds whatever. A divorced businessman who lectures on positive attitudes to sales teams is so pre-occupied with his job he forgets to pick up his daughters. But he loses control after being told by their mother that he can't see them for a long time because his failure to be there upsets them so much (see "Liar, Liar" on this theme). Driving through the rain he hits a dog, a young man is wandering in the road and he presumes it is his dog. The young man gets into his car without being asked. At this point we enter another dimension where motives for action have changed from what we expect. Daniel Auteuil (one of France's best actors) doesn't know what to make of Pascal Duquenne's young man. Not because he has Down's Syndrome but because he acts in ways not expected, which take even us by surprise but with which we empathise. For example he directs his 'chauffeur' to this mother's house saying he's going home; neglecting to mention his mother died years ago. Later Auteuil heads to his daughters' home hiding from himself that he is not welcome. Ultimately, it is the young man who brings about the reconciliation between the father and his family.. This film is moving without being sentimental, it's very funny at times and if there's any justice we'll see Pascal Duquenne again.

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