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DVD - Aaltra (3 stars)

AALTRA

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(18) 93mins (Bluebell Films DVD retail)

BLACK COMEDY

Gustave de Kervern and Benoit Delépine - the writers, directors and stars of this odd but strangely heart-warming Belgian road movie - are comedians in their home country, and quite obviously blessed with the blackest and most off-the-wall senses of humour imaginable. Here’s the gag: the duo play countryside neighbours - one a farmer, the other a white collar worker in the city - who hate each other and end up managing to cripple one another in an industrial threshing machine.

Against all the odds, japes ensue, and the misfortune of the misanthropic pair’s situation is treated with bare-bones humanity. As they develop a grudging understanding and set out to claim six million euros from the company which manufactured the faulty farm equipment, the pair’s amusingly sullen delivery is as dry as the beautiful black and white photography which accompanies them wheeling their way across the countryside to Finland. Extras include a director’s interview, deleted scenes, and a short film by Delépine.

(David Pollock)

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