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The Eighth Day (French: Le huitième jour) is a 1996 Belgian comedy-drama film that tells the story of the friendship that develops between two men who meet by chance. Harry (Daniel Auteuil), a divorced businessman who feels alienated from his children, meets Georges (Pascal Duquenne), an institutionalised man with Down syndrome, after Georges has escaped from his mental institution and is nearly run over by Harry. The film was selected as the Belgian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 69th Academy Awards, but was not accepted as a nominee.[1][2]

Le huitième jour
Le Huitieme Jour.jpg
DVD cover
Directed byJaco Van Dormael
Produced byPhilippe Godeau
Dominique Josset
Eric Rommeluere
Written byJaco Van Dormael
Music byPierre Van Dormael
CinematographyWalther van den Ende
Edited bySusana Rossberg
Distributed byGramercy Pictures
Release date
Running time
118 minutes
Box office$33 million

The film was written and directed by Jaco Van Dormael. Some scenes in the film appear as dream sequences, often employing magical realism. The music of Luis Mariano ("Mexico," and "Maman, Tu Es La Plus Belle Du Monde") is used in these scenes, with actor Laszlo Harmati playing Mariano, who died in 1970. The original music score is from Pierre Van Dormael, Jaco's brother.


Pascal Duquenne and Daniel Auteuil at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival premiere.


This film was nominated for the Palme d'Or award, the top prize at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival. It did win the Best Actor award at the festival, which was given to both Pascal Duquenne and Daniel Auteuil.[3]

The film was also nominated for a César Award and a Golden Globe award.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  2. ^ "39 Countries Hoping for Oscar Nominations". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 13 November 1996. Archived from the original on 9 February 1999. Retrieved 5 October 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Le huitième jour". Retrieved 18 September 2009.

External linksEdit