Memorable Evening with “The Intouchables”

I’ve been feeling like crap all day and being highly unproductive. So not how I wanted to spend my vacation days. *sigh* Also the Monk novel series keeps distracting me from what I should be doing, because… well, I’m a slacker sometimes. A lot of times recently :-(

I met with some old friends yesterday for coffee and very delicious cake in Cologne and in the evening we went to a reading/interview event at the Lit.Cologne, one of the largest literary festivals in Europe. The initial reason to go to this event was because our favourite German actor was reading excerpts from two books, but the main event actually was that both authors were there to talk about their lives and their friendship. Their story was made into a movie in 2011 called The Intouchables and it’s the most successful French movie of all times. Or at least since 50 years or so.
Seriously, if you haven’t seen it at a cinema in the last two years, rent the DVD or check out if it’s on Netflix or something, because it’s such a great movie and the fact that it’s a true story makes it even more amazing. In short: wealthy quadriplegic (paralysed from neck down) hires a young man (Algerian immigrant with a criminal record) who is completely unexperienced in caregiving to be his carer and this decision changes both of their lives forever and for the better.

And yesterday these two men – Phillipe Pozzo di Borgo and Abdel Sellou – were sitting on a stage together in Cologne and talked about their lives, their lasting friendship, the movie and the books, but also about our society and the situation of disabled people and much more. It was so very interesting and highly entertaining, because both are pretty funny guys and I really regretted giving up French classes in 9th grade, because I always had to wait for the translator to understand the joke, while the french-speaking people around me were already laughing.
The host asked a few stupid (at least in my opinion) questions, but besides that it was a very memorable evening and I’m planning to read both of their books some day, because I think both might have a lot more to tell and teach us. All of us…

If you want to know more…

A Second Wind, by Philippe Pozzo di Borgo

You Changed My Life, by Abdell Sellou


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