Deeply empathetic portrait of regular visitors and staff at The Adamant, a psychiatric daycare center in Paris, directed by Nicolas Philibert, the now 72-year-old maker of Être et avoir. Out-patients at this center with a homey atmosphere floating on the River Seine will always find a listening ear, and all sorts of activities to take part in—from cooking and talking about football to drawing and playing music.
In this patient observational film, we gradually come to learn more about these people, their often utterly unique quirks, and also their levelheadedness. And sometimes we see the world through their eyes.
While reviewers justifiably use words like “warm” and “sympathetic” to describe the film, this surprise winner of the Golden Bear at the 2023 Berlin Film Festival is much more than merely a portrait of outsiders. By paying subtle attention to momentary glances, reactions, and interactions among the devoted staff, Philibert holds a mirror up to us all.