18 user 29 critic

Aaltra (2004)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 23 June 2004 (Belgium)
In this pitch black comedy the rivalry between two neighbors escalates into an all out war. Through a maintenance error on a tractor they both end up, paralyzed, in a wheelchair. It seems ... See full summary »


Benoît Delépine, Gustave Kervern (as Gustave K/Vern)


Benoît Delépine, Gustave Kervern (as Gustave K/Vern)
4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Benoît Delépine ... L'employé
Gustave Kervern ... L'ouvrier agricole (as Gustave K/Vern)
Michel de Gavre Michel de Gavre ... Le paysan
Gérard Condejean Gérard Condejean ... Le Chinois
Isabelle Delépine Isabelle Delépine ... L'épouse
Pierre Ghenassia Pierre Ghenassia ... Le patron
Fred Martin Fred Martin ... Le collègue
Jan Bucquoy Jan Bucquoy ... L'amant
Pierre Carles Pierre Carles ... Le médecine
Céline Normand Céline Normand ... Infirmière
Martine Peigné Martine Peigné ... Infirmière
Carine Liénard Carine Liénard ... Infirmière
Nathalie Carpentier Nathalie Carpentier ... Infirmière
Dodo Avrel Dodo Avrel ... Le kiné
Jean-Michel Carlier Jean-Michel Carlier ... Ambulancier bavard


In this pitch black comedy the rivalry between two neighbors escalates into an all out war. Through a maintenance error on a tractor they both end up, paralyzed, in a wheelchair. It seems they are doomed to stay together. They no longer focus their rage on each other but on the manufacturer of the tractor, in Helsinki. So get ready for a hilarious wheelchair road movie. Written by Cult Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


L'Anglais à la moto: It's people like you that give fucking people in wheelchairs a bad fucking name!
See more »


Featured in Delépine/Kervern - Échappements libres (2016) See more »

User Reviews

Thin plot but clever look at the way the two characters are treated (and act)
18 November 2007 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

A commuter and a farmhand get in one another's way often, causing tensions and frustrations between them. When the farmhand causes the commuter to miss his train, lose his job and arrive home early to find his wife having an affair, the commuter and the farmhand get into a fight around the farm equipment and end up badly injured – both ending up paralysed from the waist down. Seemingly stuck with one another, they set out on a trip to Finland to seek out the manufacturer of the equipment that put them in this state.

This sat on my harddrive for several months before I got around to watching it and, if you read the plot summary and know that it is a black & white and in French, you will perhaps understand why. Unsure of what to expect I settled down to it – thinking it unfair that I neglect it in favour of "easier" American blockbusters etc. What I found was an unspectacular but clever look at how disabled people are treated and viewed. The road trip aspect is not much more than a frame to allow this to happen and indeed even the conclusion is making the point in an amusing way. In regards narrative then it doesn't really satisfy because of this being the weaker aspect but I found the look at disability to be enough to cover this.

The writer and director do well to avoid sentimentality or preaching and they are very even handed across the telling. We see people being overly kind, people ignoring them, people picking them and so on. Fairly we also seeing them taking advantage of goodwill and being just as big a pair of jerks as able-bodied people can be. It sounds simple to say it but the film does do a good job with this theme and, although not hilarious, it did produce some dark laughs along the way. Writer and director Delépine and de Kervern do a good job in the two lead roles and also work very well with a limited budget.

Overall then not a perfect film but a cleverer one that I initially gave it credit for. The narrative is not a lot more than a frame to allow the dark comic look at the treatment of the two characters but in this regard it works well enough while the examples of treatment are fair and well delivered.

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Belgium | France


English | Finnish | French | German | Dutch

Release Date:

23 June 2004 (Belgium) See more »

Also Known As:

Aaltra - vihaiset jalattomat miehet See more »


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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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