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On the Adamant

Sur l'Adamant

109 MINS
French Film Festival UK

Golden Bear Winner at the 2023 Berlin Film Festival. A compassionate, intelligent and shrewdly observed documentary.

In Detail

Nicolas Philibert who memorably made ‘Être et Avoir’ (about a rural school), returns with a warm and sympathetic documentary, which proved a worthy winner of the Berlin Film Festival’s Golden Bear earlier this year.

The Adamant, a unique day-care centre in the form of a floating structure located on the Seine in the heart of Paris, welcomes adults suffering from mental disorders, offering the kind of day-care that grounds them in time and space and helps them to recover or keep up their spirits. One young man describes how other people’s noise upsets him.

Frédéric, an aging but still dashing bohemian, speaks lucidly about art, before sharing that he and his brother are reincarnations of Vincent van Gogh and his brother Théo. Philibert does not offer diagnoses or assign labels. Why would he, when the patients have their own, much more earthy descriptions of their afflictions? “The best documentary that I saw in Berlin.“ – Roger Gibson

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