Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, the man with tetraplegia who inspired the 2011 hit French film "Intouchables" (called "Untouchable" in Spain and "Untouchable Friends" in Latin America), died this Friday at the age of 72, as confirmed by the directors of the film.
"It is with deep sadness that we have just learned of the news of the passing of our friend Philippe Pozzo di Borgo. By agreeing to have his story adapted for 'Intouchables,' he changed our lives and those of many vulnerable and fragile people," filmmakers Olivier Nakache conveyed. and Éric Toledano on social networks.
"We will always remember him as a brave, dignified, humble and combative man. We will miss his humor and intelligence. It was a rare privilege to have worked with him over the years. We will try to continue all his battles," added the filmmakers, along with photos of the film crew posing with the deceased.
Pozzo di Borgo, born in Paris in 1951, was a businessman descended from a Corsican noble family who became a quadriplegic in 1993 due to a paragliding accident.
She narrated her life and her experience with her personal caretaker, Abdel Yasmin Sellou, an immigrant with a criminal record, in the book "Le second souffle" ("A second wind").
The story of the unlikely friendship between the two, played by François Cluzet and Omar Sy, respectively, was adapted to the screen in 2011 by Nakache and Toledano, who achieved with "Intouchables" the second biggest box office success in the history of French cinema.
The film received forty nominations for national and international awards and won, among others, the 2012 César for Best French Film and the 2013 Spanish Goya for Best European Film.
"Forever in our hearts," Sy said on his Instagram account, echoing the news released by the filmmakers.
Sold in nearly 50 countries, "Intouchables" sold 19.49 million tickets in France and was extremely successful in Europe, especially in Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Italy. It has also been adapted in the United States ("The Upside"), starring Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart.
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