Eclectic in his subjects, the documentary filmmaker meets the adults suffering from psychic deficiency of the Adamant, a residence center moored near the Jardin des Plantes in Paris.
Water has flowed under the bridges since To be and to Have (2002), on a single class from kindergarten to CM2, which revealed Nicolas Philibert. Seven films later, the documentary filmmaker is released on Wednesday April 19 On the Adamant, devoted to psychiatry, Golden Bear at the last Berlin Festival. At a time when caregivers denounce the dehumanization in the sector and the psychiatric desert in France, the experience of this residence center is a nice surprise.
The Human Bomb
In the wake of Nicolas Philibert, we discover the free and open space of L’Adamant, a floating building fixed to Quai de la Rappée in Paris. Large bay windows open onto the Seine, crossed by the Charles-de-Gaulle bridge, and not far away is the Gare d’Austerlitz. There, Pierre, Paul or Jacqueline, mentally deficient, regularly meet for a few hours, an afternoon or a day. Surrounded by health professionals, they come to a friendly space to take stock of their activities, their state of mind, their treatment, and share their experiences together.
Some sing, play an instrument or paint. All speak an incredibly rich and sensitive language, aware of a state that would have stepped aside, but channeled. The opening scene where one of the patients sings The Human Bomb of the group Telephone, in a crazy rendition of accuracy, screaming “I must not let myself go!“better than Jean-Louis Aubert, glued to the chair.
Another passenger on this drunken boat speaks of welcoming “crazy” on L’Adamant, not hesitating to naturally attribute to himself a term banished from political correctness. This other confides his relationship to music, revealing himself to be a composer, lyricist, multi-instrumentalist and remarkable performer. Nicolas Philibert does not exhibit nor questions its protagonists, they speak, with their voice, their oratorical art, musical or plastic, with a liberating, even libertarian communicative spontaneity.
This plasticity is found in their adaptation to more concentrated tasks such as the regular exercise of collectively doing the accounts of L’Adamant. Medications aren’t ignored, and our Telephone singer isn’t shy about saying that without them, he couldn’t not “let it go”like a berserk”. The experience of L’Adamant is reminiscent of that of the La Chesnais clinic in the Loir-et-Cher, inaugurated in the 1970s, recognized worldwide for having revolutionized the approach to patients, with participatory psychiatry, oriented towards the release of speech and the arts. A tangent that ends up on L’Adamant. Uplifting.
Gender : Documentary
Director: Nicholas Philbert
Country : France / Japan
Duration : 1h49
Exit : April 19 2023
Distributer : Diamond Films