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Uneasy Riders (Nationale 7) review

A black comedy set in a home for the physically and mentally handicapped might not sound like an obvious crowd-pleaser, but the debut feature of French director Jean-Pierre Sinapi relishes its overturning of audience preconceptions.

The cantankerous René (superbly played by Olivier Gourmet) is a former union activist, now confined to a wheelchair with a wasting disease, who's determined to get laid. Julie (Nadia Kaci) is his concerned new carer, who decides to find a prostitute prepared to satisfy Rene's needs. Meanwhile, a gay Muslim with a Johnny Halliday fixation (Said Taghmaoui) wants to be converted to Catholicism.

Shot on digital video and then blown up to 35mm, Uneasy Riders cheerfully dismantles taboos around the sexuality of disabled people, while retaining a generous affection for its array of characters in their various quests for love. A delightfully twisted treat.

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