|Intouchables - The Movie|
Something important is happening in France today.
The story begins with two men, Philippe and Abdel. Philippe was part of the French aristocracy, the former head of a champagne manufacturer, immensely wealthy and popular.
Abdel was much younger, of Algerian background, and the ringleader of a street gang.
Two men who lived in two contrasting worlds.
In 1993 Philippe had a hand-gliding accident and became a quadraplegic. He sank into a deep depression. Against the advice of his friends, Philippe hired Abdel as his live-in caregiver. This improbable encounter brought healing and transformation to both men. Two human beings, both handicapped in different ways, began to help each other negotiate life in new and successful ways. ‘’Sometimes”, says Philippe, “you have to reach into someone else’s world to find what’s missing in your own’’.
He calls this ‘’The Art of the Other. ’’
‘’The Art of the Other’’ - L’Art de L’Autre’… what a beautiful expression!
|Philippe Pozzo di Brogo|
The impact of Philippe and Abdel’s story is a cultural phenomenon in France today. Philippe wrote a popular autobiography that became a movie, “Untouchables”, released last year. It broke all box office records in France with more than 20 million viewers.
Today, May 16th, in Paris, the new President of France, François Hollande, will be presented with a new book written by Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, Jean Vanier and Laurent de Cherisay. It is called “Are we not all Untouchable?” (Tous intouchables?) It is about the mysterious and sometimes shocking way that disability can lead to healing and transformation.
Some day each one of us will be disabled. We will all become “untouchable” in our own unique way. This new and powerful book is about our human fragility. But even more, it is about the crucial importance of risking an encounter with the ‘other’ which often means with our brothers and sisters who are at the bottom of our society.
Nathan Ball, Jean-Louis Munn*
* Jean-Louis Munn has been with L'Arche for many years. He has a background in philosophy and communications and is very attentive to how powerful ideas move within our culture. The following 'posting' was his idea and he did the research so it was a team effort.