Films byTexts by Emmanuel Burdeau
Conversation NL EN
29.05.2019

“A mental hospital is not, as such, an original theme. The story told by ’Til Madness Do Us Part could just as well happen anywhere else. It is a common story. The fact remains that mental illness is of course an interesting subject, particularly in China. Somehow, mental illness frees mankind, as it liberates mankind from the yoke of the law. At the same time, it makes man more vulnerable... […] The life we see on the outside of an asylum is fundamentally not very different from the one we can see on the inside. What interested me was less the hospital than the patients and the life they were living... They don’t consider this place a mental hospital but the place in which they live. […]  It is their house. That’s where they live as if it is their home. Some of them even stay there for the rest of their lives. Very early on, I was struck by the impression that in a lot of ways there is more humanity on the inside of a hospital than on the outside.”

Conversation EN
29.05.2019

Before the premiere at the 2018 Cannes filmfestival, Emmanuel Burdeau talked to Wang Bing about his colossal documentary work Dead Souls. “As it is often the case, though, the problem was the solution: I finally understood that it was this gap that would be the subject of Dead Souls. I finally realized that what interested me through the memory of the survivors was to be able to touch upon the reality of those who had died. But all this remains very theoretical... From a practical standpoint I still didn’t know how the reality of those who were dead was going to come forth from the testimonies of those who were, on the contrary, still alive and who, when they were interviewed, spoke mostly of just that: the fact that they had survived. ”

ARTICLE FR EN
18.04.2018

Vertical cinema, films that walk. Horizontal cinema, films that are recumbent. Between them is a time outside time, the same duration alien to the laws of work, of reason and of health. How, and until when, can a life be extended once it seems to have left itself behind? What virtual actions remain latent within what appears to be the most complete inaction? From indefatigable walking to the fatigue of the recumbent, the spectacular reversal of postures is also accompanied by a shared perseverance: Wang Bing’s gesture consists in disengaging from the core of exhaustion the ultimate fragments of the possible.

ARTICLE FR EN
18.04.2018

Cinéma vertical, films qui marchent. Cinéma horizontal, films qui gisent. Des uns aux autres s’ouvrent le même temps, la même durée étrangère aux lois du travail, de la raison et de la santé. Comment, et jusqu’à quand, une vie peut-elle se prolonger, à partir du moment où elle semble comme sortie d’elle-même ? De quelles virtualités d’action l’inaction a priori la plus complète est encore grosse ? De l’infatigable marche à la fatigue des gisants, s’il y a un spectaculaire bouleversement des postures, se développe aussi une commune persévérance : le geste de Wang Bing dégage d’ultimes fragments de possible du cœur de l’épuisement.

Conversation NL EN
9.11.2014

“Een psychiatrisch ziekenhuis is, op zich, geen origineel thema. Het verhaal van Feng ai [’Til Madness Do Us Part] had zich zeker ook elders kunnen afspelen. Het is een alledaags verhaal. Toch is geestesziekte natuurlijk een interessant onderwerp, met name in China. Geestesziekte bevrijdt de mens, in zekere zin, want ze bevrijdt hem van het juk van de wet. Tegelijkertijd maakt ze hem kwetsbaarder … [...] Het leven dat men buiten een inrichting waarneemt is in wezen niet zo verschillend van het leven dat men binnen kan waarnemen. Wat me interesseerde was minder het ziekenhuis dan de patiënten en het leven dat ze er leidden. Zij beschouwen die plek niet als een ziekenhuis maar als een plaats waar ze leven. [...] Het is hun huis. Ze leven er alsof ze thuis zijn, sommigen blijven er zelfs tot hun dood. Ik was al vroeg getroffen door de indruk dat in veel opzichten er meer menselijkheid binnen dan buiten het ziekenhuis was.”