Dir. Nicolas Philibert, 1996, France, 105min, DCP, Color
In French with English subtitles
During the summer of 1995, residents and staff at the Loire Valley’s La Borde psychiatric clinic uphold their annual tradition of preparing to put on a summer play. This documentary chronicles the highs and lows of rehearsals for the season’s selection, the absurdist Operette by Witold Gombrowicz. Over the course of the film, the lens widens from a focus on the theater piece to a touching portrait of life at La Borde, where each patient and staff member plays a key role—whether it be tragic, comic, troubled, or triumphant.
1996 Locarno International Film Festival