Prends-Moi (Take Me)
A nurse working in a centre for disabled people is asked to provide assistance for a young couple in the intimacy room.
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Producer/s : Francois Bonneau,
Director/s : Anais Barbeau-Lavalette, Andre Turpin
Writer/s : Anais Barbeau-Lavalette, Andre Turpin
Actor/s : Mani Soleymanlou, Alexandre Vallerand
As a nurse at a residential centre for severely disabled people, assisting in the intimacy room in is one of Mani’s duties. He’s neutrally dispassionate as he hoists a naked disabled man into position next to his equally disabled wife, and leaves them to have private time together.
Until he’s called back to move them closer. “Have you held a stranger’s penis, to put it inside his wife?” he asks his boss. It’s part of your job description, she tells him.
The film-making is as contained as the nurse, and less troubled by the intimacy, as the camera concentrates on the affection and tenderness between the couple. The husband’s “Merci” as Mani wipes him dry afterwards is heartfelt, and we are left to wonder if Mani feels no longer embarrassed, but privileged to have enabled their essential lovemaking.
Love and disability is a rare subject, and if it is addressed there’s a danger of sentimentality. The co-directors avoid this, and the film is all the more profound for the restraint. Sex and disability is rarer still, and they pick out exactly the right course avoiding the rocks of eroticism, comedy, or documentary.
Mani wheels the husband, and a colleague wheels the wife, past rooms occupied by others also with serious disabilities. They too have sexual desires, seems to be the message. He might have to help any of them.
As they roll down the corridor to resume their routine daily lives together, their closeness affirmed, husband and wife both have smiles on their faces. Now that’s what I call a happy end.