Rio Garonne

On a nostalgic whim, Richie Scepanovic drives his racing car towards Bordeaux. This is where his free life began. He stops at a cinema. When he comes out, the Porsche is missing. In reality, the car is not his; he “borrowed” it from his boss for the evening.

At the police station he learns that the illegally parked vehicle has been towed away. Richie is relieved, all he has to do is to pay the fine, pick up the car, go home, and no one is any the wiser.

Betty, the pretty woman he meets at the police station, offers to accompany him to the car pound. Since he does not know the town he accepts. Bad decision for Richie, because his trip turns into an urban nightmare.

First a taxi driver recognizes Richie, who once played football for the Bordeaux Girondins and who he blames for a memorable defeat several years ago. The taxi driver becomes aggressive and calls for help from his friends, all of them equally fanatic, to “punish” the stranger. Richie and Betty manage to escape.

While trying to find their way on foot, they suddenly become the target of an armed gang who pursue them.

They find a refuge in an ancient wine cellar next to the river. Betty then reveals that she stole money from her ex-lover, a notorious drug dealer; she needed the cash to recover her child who is being held hostage by her in-laws. She needs a fast car to get away.

Richie is aghast to find himself in such a situation. Worst of all, his feet are hurting, crushed into his over-tight lizard-skin Mexican boots. However, he has to keep running all through the night to save his skin.

Infuriated, he loses his calm and rediscovers the familiar reflexes from a troubled past that he wanted to forget.


Joël Mespoulede, born in 1966, Is an actor and manager of a regional theatre troupe, and a musical group.

He has written short stories, magazine articles and anthologies, radio dramas (Radio France, RTBF, Radio Canada), several songs, and a very freely adapted play of Agamemnon by Eschyles.