Dir. Nicolas Philibert, French with English Subtitles, France, 1997
Wed 24 October 2012 // 18:30 / Cinema
Every little thing / La moindre des choses (1997)
Within the tranquil woods of Loire Valley we are introduced to La Borde psychiatric clinic, an asylum in the truest sense of the word, as they prepare for the annual summer play. Every Little Thing is an incredible documentary about one of the world’s most highly regarded psychiatric institutions where patients and staff live and work together.
"An intimate, profoundly sympathetic and admirably honest look at life in an institution. Philibert is a master film-maker and his work should not be missed by anyone who takes contemporary cinema at all seriously"
Geoff Andrew, Film Critic and Programmer
Director: Nicolas Philibert
About the Institution:
The film takes place in the La Borde Clinic, which is an institution that revolutionised psychiatry when it was created in 1953; it was a pioneer and is still a defining model for "institutional psychotherapy".
Through "institutional psychotherapy", schizophrenic patients are treated like "normal" people and given tasks and responsibilities. No staff wears white gowns there, and the "ill" and the "sain" live and work together (doing secretarial work, gardening, answering the phone, etc). The line between staff and patients, bteween the "disabled" and the "able", between "us" and "them" - is made blurry. These practices have now become quite common in other institutions, but in the 1950's, schizophrenic patients generally received very little care, if not abuse, and this clinic was a pioneer in showing a different way of treating schizofrenia.
Who is "normal" and what does it mean? What are schizophrenic patients like? With very discreet filmmaking skills, Nicolas Philibert asks these questions, and shows an aspect of life that we are not very often confronted to.
"If you want psychiatry to help to heal people, you have to, in the first place, heal the institution itself, to avoid all the difficulties of institutional life, in other words to heal and to refresh the institution of psychiatry itself."
About the Director:
Nicolas Philibert is one of the most highly regarded documentary makers in France.
Here are a few facts:
- born in 1951
- Some of his films include: "Louvre City (1990); "In the Land of the Deaf" (1992, incredible documentary about deaf people); "Etre et Avoir" (2002) and "Nenette" (2010, about a 40 year-old Orang-Outan)
- In 2002, he directed "Etre et Avoir" which gained incredible success around the world, critically and publicly. That documentary was about a small classroom with children of all ages in a French village.
- in 2005, the National Film Theatre in London showed all his films, and you can read a great interview with him here: http://www.bfi.org.uk/features/interviews/philibert.html