A festival favourite from 2004 and screening on 35mm, Aaltra is a hilarious wheelchair road movie, a wonderfully deadpan and irreverent comedy scattered liberally with ingenious sight and sound gags. The story follows two feuding neighbours who seem to live only to torment one another. When they come to blows over an item of agricultural machinery, a gruesome accident leaves them both wheelchair bound. Forced together by unfortunate circumstances, they join forces to confront the manufacturers who caused the accident, wreaking havoc along the way.
Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern cut their teeth – during 15 years – writing and acting on TV as stand-up comedians. They met each other 5 years ago on the set of Grolandsat, a totally independent show shot on DV. They used this as a testing ground to develop new narrative solutions, while writing small features that became increasingly elaborate. Whilst working on Toc, toc, toc (a comedy series), they had a chance to meet with highly acclaimed French cult feature director, Maurice Pialat, who talked them into making films. Thus, their first attempt: Don Quixote and the Revolution a road movie featuring an anarchist biker and a pizza delivery boy.
In Aaltra, their first feature film as Directors, they wanted to capture a dash of life they feel is often lacking in contemporary productions. They achieved this by mingling actors and non-professionals, hidden camera and staged shots as well as written and improvised dialogues. During the filmmaking, they managed to incorporate the unexpected locations and encounters that crossed their path into the overall story. Their encounter with Aki Kaurismäki will remain for them the highlight of their lives.
BBFC Cert 15.