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By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Le Huitieme Jour: The Eighth Day
Directed by Jaco Van Dormael
PolyGram 02/97 DVD/VHS Feature Film
Harry (Daniel Auteuil) is a workaholic salesman whose wife has left him, taking their two daughters with her. Alone and depressed, he sits in his upscale apartment disenchanted with life. Then Harry meets Georges (Pascal Duquenne), a young man with Down's syndrome who has just escaped from a home for the handicapped. Although people keep him at a distance, he has two special angels in his life one is his deceased mother and the other is a Latino singer who sings in his imagination.
With an exuberant expression of his feelings and a zest for living in the present moment, Georges becomes Harry's spiritual director. He helps his new friend to slow down and to enjoy the parade. In one marvelous scene, the two are in the country about to return to town. Georges suggests they take a minute and lie down in the grass, just to observe the natural world around them. Later on a visit to the seaside, Georges helps Harry reconnect with one of his daughters by creating a magical surprise for her birthday.
Jaco Van Dormael, the Belgian writer and director of Le Huitieme Jour: The Eighth Day, has fashioned a buoyant spiritual film that celebrates the mysteries of friendship and the moments of wonder when we are graced with an appreciation for life's bounties.
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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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