Gildas Grimault: Many documentaries play on humour and emotion to get their message across. Why did you refuse that approach?
“In France we have a saying: ‘Le chemin se fait en marchant’; the path is made by walking it. And that, for better or worse, is how I tend to work as a film-maker. I make my documentaries from a position of ignorance and curiosity.
“The film implicitly reflects on three different kinds of language – the different languages spoken in movies, the so-called language of cinema, and Sign, specifically the language of the deaf.
“Without showing it, Philibert launches into a reflection on the gaze that recalls the animal inventory of Bresson’s Au hasard Balthazar.
Every summer the residents and nurses at La Borde psychiatric hospital put on a play. In 1995 they performed a work by Witold Gombrowicz, who fully understood what the residents also know: that feelings can't be “crammed into words.”
A documentary portrait of a one-room school in rural France, where the students (ranging in age from 4 to 11) are educated by a single dedicated teacher.
Nénette is a French documentary film about a 40-year-old female orangutan living in the menagerie of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris.
« Nicolas Philibert demande au spectateur de son nouveau documentaire un peu la patience dont doivent s’armer les apprentis infirmiers et infirmières qui sont sujets.
Follows patients and caregivers at a psychiatric centre with a unique floating structure located in the middle of the Seine river in central Paris.