National 7

Released January 19, 2001

Rene, a frustrated 50-year-old confined to a wheelchair by a degenerative muscle disease, and Julie, a newly trained nurse assigned to his case. Time is running out for Rene: he hasn't made love in years, and his anger and irascibility have reached such a level of violence that neither staff nor fellow patients can deal with him. He asks Julie to find him a prostitute, and after a comical staff meeting in which the "issue" is discussed, she sets out for the highway where such professionals are found in abundance. Rene becomes a frequent visitor to National 7, and as he undergoes an astonishing personality change-from seething pressure cooker of hostility to house philosopher and insightful confidant-the other characters in the home begin to discover miraculous resolutions for their own personal, religious, and romantic frustrations. Rene's transformation touches not only Julie but also Rabah, a self-described "handicapped Muslim gay orphan;" Sandrine, the gruff but sentimental nurse; Jacques, the neurotic staff psychiatrist; and Roland, the home's handyman, distinguished only by his utter normality."

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