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Le huitième jour
Directed by Jaco Van Dormael
Produced by Philippe Godeau
Dominique Josset
Eric Rommeluere
Written by Jaco Van Dormael
Starring Daniel Auteuil
Pascal Duquenne
Music by Pierre Van Dormael
Cinematography Walther van den Ende
Editing by Susana Rossberg
Running time 118 minutes
Country Belgium
Language French

Le huitième jour (English: The Eighth Day) is a Belgian 1996 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 written and directed by Jaco Van Dormael. Some scenes in the film appear as dream sequences. The music of Luis Mariano is used in these scenes, with actor Laszlo Harmati playing Luis. (Luis died in 1970.) The original music score is from Pierre Van Dormael, Jaco's brother.



  • Daniel Auteuil - Harry
  • Pascal Duquenne - Georges
  • Miou-Miou - Julie
  • Henri Garcin - The director of the bank
  • Isabelle Sadoyan - Georges' Mother
  • Michele Maes - Nathalie
  • Fabienne Loriaux - Fabienne
  • Hélène Roussel - Julie's mother
  • Alice van Dormael - Alice
  • Juliette Van Dormael - Juliette
  • Didier De Neck - Fabienne's husband
  • Marie-Pierre Meinzel
  • Sabrina Leurquin - Waitress in fast food restaurant
  • Laszlo Harmati - Luis Mariano


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.[1] This was the first time in the festival's history that two actors had shared the award.

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

See also


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