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The wheelchair is an ironic comedy whose rather macabre humour masks a deep human and social Insight. It concerns a little old man whose ardent wish is to possess a motorbed wheelchair like that of his best friend. The fact that his legs are per­fectly sound does not deter him. When his family refuses lo give him enough money to satisfy what they take to the an old man's caprice, our hero sells [he family jewels, and signs a hire, purchase agree­ment. When his son recovers the jewelry and cancels the agreement, the old man is led to take what, for him, is the inevitable course of action.

Young, Italian-horn Marco Fcrreri displays a firm touch for satire in handling this subject. The old man's crippled friends are not dealt with sentiment­ally, and at the same time, his own weird behaviour is carried of witiily and believably. In one lovely scene, the old man, with time hanging heavily on his hands, wanders round the house prying into what everyone else is doing. Such incidents as these. which could border on surrealism, are incorporated into the story most credibly, and mark Ferreri's own particular style of neo-realism.

FIPRESCI Award, Venice Festival.