Joel's house

Movie Un neveu silencieux Robert Enrico
It took 45 years for the inhabitants of Nouaillé-Maupertius to finally see The Silent Nephew, Robert Enrico's film shot in their town. But why such a long wait to discover the story of Joel, a child with Down's syndrome?

– One, tell me one.

– One

– Two, tell me two.

– Two.

Alexandre (Jean Bouise) and Joël (Joël Dupuis)

It’s summer and the Dupuis family is spending their vacations in Nouaillé-Maupertuis. The son of Alexandre (Jean Bouise) and Marthe (Lucienne Hamon), Joël (Joël Dupuis) has trisomy 21. To keep him going, in the first few minutes of the film, the father tries to get his little boy to repeat the numbers from 1 to 3.

From the film of Robert Enrico, we will not be more. It should be noted that it was commissioned by Antenne 2 in 1977 and was broadcast only once in the famous program with the anguished credits Les dossiers de l’écran, by Armand Jammot.

Shot in the summer of that year in the commune of Nouaillé-Maupertuis, the entire village was involved. Thus, if Joel’s parents are professional actors, the little boy, who also suffers from Down’s syndrome, was recruited in the Mauroc Medical and Educational Institute in Saint-Benoît. Some locals acted as extras while others joined the technical team.

On the day of the broadcast on the second public channel, the Nobilians gathered to watch the film, but a general breakdown deprived them of this moment. And it is only after an article in the local daily newspaper La nouvelle république that the film was projected in the village hall, on December 3, 2021! That is 45 years after the shooting! It should be noted that only a few people have a copy of the film. During this festive evening, some inhabitants but also Joel’s sister and educators spoke after the broadcast.

We then learn that the rushes of the film left every evening for Paris via the Poitiers train station to be developed and only returned the next day by the same channel to Nouaillé, so that Robert Enrico could see them.

The life scenes of the Dupuis family were entirely shot in the castle of Régombert in the city. This beautiful property still belongs to the same family as during the shooting, the Deniau. However the places are private and are not visited.

Un neveu silencieux is based on the eponymous novel by Paul Savatier. This actor and novelist, born in Poitiers, wrote the script for the film himself. If his main character was named Peter, for obvious reasons in the feature film, he was called Peter.


The director Claire Denis was five times assistant to Robert Enrico on his films: The Secret, The Old Gun, L’empreinte des géants, Pile ou face and Un neveu silencieux.

Un neveu silencieux de Robert Enrico (

Château de Régombert

Le château de Régombert is located on the commune of Nouaillé-Maupertuis in the Vienne (86).

This beautiful residence can be seen at the entrance to the village on the road to Nieul-L’espoir.

It was bought by the Deniau family, owners of the famous textile company Deniau et Cie in 1910.

Privately owned, it was also ... Learn more about Château de Régombert

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Fanspots Stories Paris [French Edition]

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By Damien Canteau

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

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