French documentary ‘On the Adamant’ wins top Berlin film award Arts & Culture News


Shot over three years, the documentary takes viewers aboard a Seine barge in Paris, which serves as a floating daycare center for adults living with mental illness.

French documentary “On the Adamant” – a film about a floating daycare center in Paris for adults with mental illness – has won the Berlin International Film Festival’s top Golden Bear award.

Its director Nicolas Philibert said Saturday he was deeply moved by the jury’s decision to award the Berlinale’s top prize to a documentary rather than a work of fiction.

“That documentary can be considered cinema that in itself touches me deeply,” he said. “For 40 years I’ve always fought to see it as much.”

Shot over three years, the film follows life at a daycare center on The Adamant, a yacht moored on the right bank of the Seine, where patients and caregivers interact in ways that Philibert sees as the dehumanization of psychiatry. .

The 72-year-old director said that in the film, he had tried to “overturn the image” that people have of mental illness and allow audiences to see “what unites us beyond our differences”. .

“As we all know, the craziest people are not who we think they are,” he said.

Also Read: Berlin International Film Festival Full Winners List

The best director award went to fellow French filmmaker Philippe Garrell for “The Plow,” about three siblings who are trying to keep the family’s puppet business alive after their father’s death.

Garrel dedicated the award to his children and to French-Swiss director Jean-Luc Godard, “a great mentor to many of us”, who died last September.

The Best Leading Performance award went to Spanish actor Sofía Ortero, who plays an 8-year-old child searching for identity and acceptance in “20,000 Species of Twenty”.

Jury chair Kristen Stewart said, “It’s rare to see someone express so many emotions, but he keeps it simple and shattering.” “Especially in a performance given to us by a child.”

Otero, who held back tears as she accepted the award, later told reporters that she was “very grateful, very happy”.

The award for Best Supporting Performance went to Austrian actor Thea Ehre for her role in “Till the End of the Night”, while Best Screenplay went to “Music” by German filmmaker Angela Schnelleck.

French cinematographer Hélène Louvaart received the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution for her work on “Disco Boy”.

The 73rd Berlinale opened with an address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who asked artists and filmmakers to unequivocally declare their support for their country in an effort to deter Russia’s invading forces.

Zelensky, a former comedian and actor, featured prominently in Sean Penn’s film “Superpower” about the war in Ukraine, which had its world premiere in Berlin.

The festival, which ranks alongside Cannes and Venice as one of Europe’s top cinema showcases, also highlighted anti-government protests in Iran with new feature films and documentaries.

Nineteen films from around the world were competing for this year’s Golden Bear.

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