12 November 2012 4:25 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

With worldwide hits such as Untouchable and Rust and Bone, French cinema is changing the way disabled people are portrayed on screen

This year's Paralympics in London did an extraordinary amount to change attitudes to disabled people. But cinema has been doing its bit too.

In March, Untouchable, the story of the relationship between a quadriplegic and his carer, became the highest-grossing film ever in a language other than English. It's now taken nearly £250m on a production budget of £7m, topping the box office charts in countries ranging from Switzerland and Spain to Germany and South Korea. It has also been selected as the French entry for the foreign-language Oscar.

A hot competitor for that honour was Rust and Bone, in which Marion Cotillard plays a double amputee. The film is still performing healthily in Britain's arthouses after winning the top prize at the London film festival.

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- David Cox

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